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Full text of "Extracts of letters of Major-Gen'l Bryan Grimes to his wife : written while in active service in the Army of Northern Virginia. Together with some personal recollections of the war, written by him after its close, etc."

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This book must not 
be taken from the 
Library building. 

Form No. 471 











Edwards, Broughton & Co., Steam Printers and Binde 


The matter contained in the succeeding pages 
was never intended for publication. It represents a 
short sketch of incidents, and participation in the late 
war, by the late Major-General Brvan Grimes, 
and extracts from letters to his wife, written from 
the camp, and on the fields of battle, and such other 
matters of record and interest as have seemed to 
me fit and proper to be inserted therein. 

General Grimes had for years after the sur- 
render determined to write out his recollections of 
the war, solely for the benefit, pleasure and curiosity 
of his children and their posterity, to be read in 
after years, with no view whatever of their publica- 
tion, but simply to be kept as a matter of record in 
his family. He had commenced this work, as shown 
in his original manuscript, and, as far as executed, 
it is printed in the following pages. 

In his letters to his wife, he gave briefly an 
account of what almost daily transpired, and being 
written on those respective days, was fresh in 
his recollecti'on, and may be received as strictly 


authentic. His known integrity and truthfulness 
will need no corroboration of what he has written 
or related. 

These sketches and incidents demonstrate the 
character, honor and chivalry — the obligation of 
duty, and love of country, of a true citizen and a 
brave soldier. They present a truthful and impar- 
tial history, and will be read with interest and grati- 
fication by his friends and surviving comrades in 
war, and with this view they are thus publicly pre- 

It will be observed that in one or two places dis- 
connected notes appear, indicating clearly his inten- 
tion to refer to them at some other time, and to 
extend more fully their subject matter. I have 
thought proper to have them printed just as they 
appear, and as they are written in the original man-- 

It Vv'ill also be seen that mention has been once 
or twice made of his horse " Warren." His affec- 
tion for this animal was very great. He had been 
released from all work since the war, except now 
and then his own occasional riding, and the best 
attention had been given him. I have frequently 
heard him say, that however much he might need 
the money, he would not part with him for thou- 


sands of dollars in gold. This old war horse died 
only a few weeks ago, at the age of twenty-eight, 
and in accordance with the General's known wishes, 
was buried as carefully and as decently as a human 
being near the spot where his dead master now 

Major-General Bryan Grimes was born in 
the county of Pitt, on the south side of Tar River, 
about eight miles from the town of Washington, N. 
C, on the 2nd day of November, 1828. He received 
a o-ood academical education, and entered Chapel 
Hill in June, 1844, and graduated in June, 1848. In 
about a year after leaving college, his father gave 
him the plantation upon which he lived up to the 
time of his death, and whereon his family now re- 
side. He had no desire for political life, and with 
the exception of the few days he was a member of 
the Convention of 1 861— known as the Secession 
Convention — he led the quiet life of a farmer, com- 
bining industry and good judgment, from his early 
manhood to the close of his life. 

He was on the 9th day of April, 185 1, married 
to Miss Elizabeth Hilliard, daughter of Dr. Thomas 
Davis, of Franklin county, who died on the 7th 
day of November, 1857. The only living issue of 
this marriage is a daughter, the wife of Samuel F. 


Mordecai, Esq., of Raleigh, N. C. On the 15th 
day of September, 1863, he was again married to 
Miss Charlotte Emily, daughter of the late Hon. 
John H. Bryan, of Raleigh, N. C, who with eight 
children now survives him. 

My relations to GENERAL Grimes forbid me to 
speak in such extended terms of praise as my feel- 
ings would dictate to speak of one of the truest and 
bravest of men. For honesty of purpose — for de- 
votion to principle — for firmness of friendship — for 
honor in all things — for truthfulness in all things — 
for faithfulness to all promises and obligations, and 
for true, genuine courage, he stood on the day of 
his death the peer of any living human being. 

On Saturday evening of the 14th of August, 
1880, while returning from the town of Washington, 
when at Bear Creek, within two miles of his home, 
he was, just at sut-set, shot from an ambush by a 
concealed assassin, and almost instantly killed. A 
little boy, about ten years old, a neighbor's son, was 
his only companion, to whom he said, " I am shot 
and will die," and immediately thereafter fell slowly 
to the foot of the buggy and expired. Several 
buck-shot struck the ribs and the top of the buggy, 
but only one shot took effect on his person, which 


passed through the thick part of his left arm, and 
lodged deep in the heart. 

That evening's sun, just sinking into darkness, 
left its frowning shadows upon this terrible deed. 
Its morning rays fell upon a household saddened 
by afifliction, and saw the mother and her children 
still bending over the lifeless form. Its midday 
brightness, on the succeeding day, rested upon the 
large and solemn assemblage gathered at the home- 
stead to render the last and only tribute of respect 
and affection. The end was soon over, and the 
tomb received all that remained of him who would 
have made any sacrifice to maintain his honor, and 
who did freely peril his life for his State and for his 

The rounded mound marks now, and will con- 
tinue to mark, the resting place of one who, in life, 
bore the type of God's highest creation — the attri- 
bute of a Creator's mightiest perfection, 

" An honest man the noblest work of God." 

To the living and the dead of the Fourth Regi- 
ment of North Carolina State Troops, who so gal- 
lantly served the Confederacy in the Army of 
Northern Virginia, the following lines are fitly dedi- 


Raleigh, N. C, April (^th, 1883. 



An account of his own recollections of the \\%ir, and a brief account 
in part of his own participation therein, by the late Major-Gen- 
ERAL Bryan Grimes, taken from his original manuscript. — Ex- 
tracts taken from letters to his wife from the fields of battle. — 
His own account of the last fight at Appomattox. — General Or- 
ders. — Reports. — Other interesting matter, &c., &c. 

I returned from Europe in the middle of the 
great political excitement over the election of Lin- 
coln to the presidency, and about the time of the 
secession of South Carolina from the Union, and 
became deeply interested in the action of the South ; 
and upon the bombardment of Sumpter by Beaure- 
gard, had gone down there for the purpose of wit- 
nessing the fight, but was too late to see the capitu- 

Thence I went to Montgomery, the then seat 
of government, and from there to Pensacola, to 
witness the threatened attack of Bragg at that 
point. After remaining there a few days, and seeing 
no prospect of the bombardment, I visited New 


Orleans, and came up the Mississippi river to Ten- 
nessee, and was on the train with the first troops 
sent from Alabama to Richmond, and happened to 
occupy a seat immediately in front of Andrew 
Johnson, afterwards President of the United States, 
and then heard the first groans given in contempt 
of his treachery to the South, which wires repeated 
at every station, Vhen it was made known that he 
was on board the train. 

On returning home to North Carolina, I found 
myself a candidate for the Convention which had 
been called by the Legislature during my absence, 
to v\'hich Convention I was elected without oppo- 
sition. The election was on the 13th May, and I 
proceeded at once to Raleigh, and signed the Ordi- 
nance of Secession on the 20th May, 1861, and 
whilst a member advocated the most extensive war 
measures. In a short time after the organization of 
the ten regiments of " State Troops" raised for, and 
by request of the Confederate government, I was 
offered by Gov. Ellis the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of 
the 8th Regiment, or the majority of the 2nd Cav- 
alry, or majority of the 4th Regiment, which latter 
I accepted. I felt my deficiency of a knowledge of 
military tactics, and Col. Geo. B. Anderson, a grad- 
uate of West Point, was Colonel of the 4th Infantry, 


whilst the others were officered by inexperienced 
civilians like myself, and I preferred a subordinate 
position with an efficient officer, to higher rank with 
officers without experience. In consequence of this 
appointment I resigned my seat in the Convention 
and revisited my home for three days to arrange my 
business matters, and then reported to the com- 
manding officer of my regiment, which was organ- 
izing at camp, near Garysburg, where the regiment 
remained drilling until ordered forward, July 20th, 
1861, to Richmond, to be in supporting distance 
to be called to Manassas in case of need, and ar- 
rived at Manassas 29th July, 1861, a few days after 
Bull Run and Manassas fights, when the change of 
habits induced a serious attack of sickness. 

I received permission to visit the Bull Run 
mountains to recuperate. After a short absence I 
returned to my command, and remained with the 
regiment until the evacuation of Manassas under 
Gen. Jos. E. Johnston in March, 1862, then in com- 
mand of my regiment, as Col. Anderson was in 
command of the post of Manassas and the troops 
in that section. ^ Camped on Clark's mountain, near 
the Rapidan river, until April 8th, when the com- 
mand was ordered to Yorktow^n, which point was 
reached on the 9th. Accompanied Col. Anderson 


when he reported to Gen. Rains for duty, and after 
assignment to certain posts, civilian like suggested 
to Gen. Rains that the regiment be not divided for 
duty as he instructed, but kept intact, and a smaller 
regiment placed where these posts were intended, 
not wishing to be left in separate command, the 
Lieutenant-Colonel being absent. 

Here for the first time I became acquainted with 
the fire of the enemy and was assigned the post of 
commander of the picket line which I sustained 
until the evacuation on the night of the 3rd of May, 
when I was left in charge of the picket line of in- 
fantry, with instructions to keep up as usual the 
firing throughout the night, and retire about dawn, 
which was very perilous, as torpedoes had been 
planted on all the roads and streets leading into 
Yorktown, and my picket had to be kept outside of 
the enemy's fire. About the middle of the day I 
regained my command, and encamped with them 
near Williamsburg for the night, and next day asked 
leave of absence to visit the venerable institution, 
" William and Mary's College," during which visit 
the fight commenced, and carried off by the excite- 
ment, I followed the sounds of strife until in the 
midst of the battle, and never realized my danger 
until I saw several officers and couriers of Gen. 


Johnston killed, thinking that there was no great 
danger so long as I was no nearer the strife than the 
commanding General, it then being a prevalent idea, 
which was afterwards exploded on our side, that the 
General officers never occupied posts of danger. 
Seeing the flag of my regiment advancing, I rode up 
to go in with it and remarked to Col. Anderson, " I 
hope you have not required my services." And 
then in the only severe and abrupt manner used to- 
wards me before or after, I was informed that my 
conduct was unmilitary, and my proper position was 
with my regiment. 

The participation of the 4th Regiment in this 
battle was slight, and the Brigade Commander being 
placed in command of the field of battle, the com- 
mand of the Brigade devolved upon Col. Anderson 
and that of the regiment upon me, when Col. An- 
derson remarked that he would take advantage of 
my knowledge of the field of battle, I having been 
present during most of the engagement and knew 
the localities, and thus riding over the field we con- 
tinued together until near daylight, when we were 
withdrawn. This night, though in May, was one of 
the most disagreeable of my army experience, a 
heavy penetrating mist, nearly freezing the men to 
the bone, w^ien all w^ould huddle together for the 



mutual warmth of their bodies, and when my horse 
became the centre for the regiment, around which 
they collected, the first few attracted by the animal 
heat from the horse's body, until they formed a com- 
plete mass of men. 

From thence the army retired slowly, but always 
on the alert, to the Chicahominy river. While there 
by an alarm of the approach of the enemy, the 
tents were all struck and wagons sent toward Rich- 
mond, leaving the army tentless and comfortless in 
the midst of a cold drizzling rain, when taking pos- 
session of a rice-tierce, or hogshead, which I 
shared with Col. Anderson, I became perhaps the 
most comfortable of all that host, as all comfort 
goes by comparison. 

I was then ordered with the regiment near Rich- 
mond, and ordered to report to Gen. Garland, Col. 
Anderson being in temporary command of Feather- 
stone's Brigade, and withdrawn and returned to Col. 
Anderson in time to participate in the battle of 
Seven Pines on May 31st, 1862, which engagement 
I entered into with 25 officers and 520 non-com- 
missioned officers and privates. All the officers 
were killed or wounded except myself, with 462 
men killed and wounded. I attacked the fort and 
redoubt where my horse's head was blown off, and 



falling so suddenl}' as to catch m)- foot and leg 
under the horse. The regiment seeing me fall, sup- 
posed I was killed or wounded, and began to falter 
and waver, when I, still penned to the earth by the 
weight of my horse, waved my sword and shouted 
forward ! forward ! Whereupon some of my men 
came to my assistance and pulled the horse off, 
when seeing the flag upon the ground, the flag- 
bearer and all the color-guard being killed or 
wounded, I grasped it and called upon them to 
charge ! which they did, and together with others 
captured the fortifications. Here John Stikeleather, 
from Iredell, (Company K, 4th N. C. State Troops), 
came up and requested to be allowed to become the 
standard-bearer, promising to bear it with credit to 
himself and the regiment so long as strength and 
life lasted. After a few moments the enemy began 
to rally in rear of their tents, and upon my calling 
Gen. Garland's attention to the fact, I was ordered 
by him in Col. Anderson's absence, to take pos- 
session of a wood near by, and begin firing upon 
them. In double-quicking across an open space of 
arable land to get to the cover of these woods, I 
perceived that the enemy were engaged in throwing 
up an earthwork to my right, when giving the com- 
mand by the right flank I charged the works taking 


many prisoners, and fired upon the enemy for the 
remainder of the day. That night I slept between 
Gen. Garland and Col. Anderson on one horse- 
blanket and covered by another, surrounded by dead 
and wounded, both men and animals. 

The next day was not actively engaged, but re- 
tired that night, the enemy having been heavily re- 
inforced. From then until the 26th of June there 
were daily skirmishes along the lines, when on that 
day we passed the Chicahominy, near Mechanics- 
ville, and although not actively engaged, was held 
under terrific infantry fire, and commanded to sup- 
port other troops and artillery, and remained in that 
position until near daylight, when we were ordered 
off to report to Gen. Hill by his special orders. 
Whereupon he directed me to " charge that battery," 
which was the only obstacle on the road to Cold 
Harbor. Whereupon I asked Gen. Hill if he was 
aware that I had no officers, and only about sixty 
men, when I was told to hold myself in readiness to 
charge, if others who were ordered forward a second 
time failed to take it. I deployed my men on the 
line and instructed them to fire upon any of these 
troops who failed to move forward to the charge. 
They were then successful but found other impedi- 
ments further on, whereupon Gen. Hill determined 


to accomplish his purpose without further sacrifice 
of life, and by a circuitous route caused them to 
abandon their position, and then marched us down 
to near Cold Harbor, where we again found the 
enemy in our front, whereupon Gen. Hill, seeing a 
battery and not being positive whether they were 
Jackson's men expected at that point or the enemy, 
ordered a flag forward to be waved, when I took the 
flag of the 4th regiment and galloped my horse to- 
wards the battery, when they opened with the whole 
battery on the line in column, in my rear, and here 
I was on the extreme left of the long continuous 
line of battle and kept the enemy in check, until 
late in the afternoon there came an order to charge ! 
and forward they went. My horse was killed 
and I continued on foot, driving the enemy from 
his breastworks through their camps, taking their 
artillery and supplying myself with another horse. 
Here I captured a fine St. Bernard dog, which was 
protecting the corpse of a Colonel of a Pennsyl- 
vania regiment, who upon inspection was found to 
have on steel breast plates, which had protected him 
so long as .his face was to the fire, but upon retreat- 
ing had received a mortal wound in the rear. 

This dog ('' General ") became the pet of the 
regiment, and remained with it for over two years, 


when in pursuit of Hunter in the Valley of Vir- 
ginia in 1 864 he succumbed to the hard marching, 
broke down and was lost, not having the endurance 
of men. That night heard the rumbling of wagons 
and artillery and the tramp of troops, until in the 
morning it was found that the enemy had crossed 
the Chickahominy. Here, for the first time, I had 
the honor of being introduced to the great Jackson, 
and I now have the mess-chest upon which he joined 
us at dinner, dining from the contents of a sutler's 
wagon captured the day previous. 

Crossed the river at Grapevine bridge and pur- 
sued the enemy as far as the White Oak, when 
against the consent and protest of Gen. Anderson, 
who had been made Brigadier, 1 was detailed by 
Gen. Hill to take charge of the captured stores and 
prisoners, and report at Richmond with them. Gen. 
Anderson saying " that although small in numbers 
Colonel Grimes and regiment is the keystone of my 
brigade." I remained around Richmond until about 
the middle of July, when an attack of typhoid fever 
compelled me to visit Raleigh and recruit my health. 
My visit home was of short duration, returning in 
time to the army to take a part in the first invasion 
of Maryland and the battles previous to the crossing 
of the Potomac. 


I recall the circumstance near Savage Station of a 
man perfectly rigid in death, with his musket up to 
his face, and in the act of taking aim ; burning of 
the trains — pile of metallic cofifins — Catholic Priests — 
a Federal soldier claiming exceptional kindness on 
account of his being a native of North Carolina, &c. 
My command did not participate much in the bat- 
tle of Second Manassas, but were in the field and 
assisted in driving the enemy beyond Centreville, 
when the line of march was taken up for Maryland, 
and reached Leesburg 4th September, and on the 
5th, when crossing the Potomac at White's Point, 
near Edwards' Ferry, I received a very severe hurt 
from the kick of a horse, which incapacitated me 
from active duty, not being able to either walk or 
ride, but had myself carried in an ambulance in an- 
ticipation and hopes of a speedy recovery. Here 
we were encamped near Frederick City for several 
days, and then moved up to the vicinity of Hagers- 
town. On the 14th of September the command 
was called upon to proceed down the turnpike to 
Middletown, near the pass over South Mountain, 
when seeing an engagement with the enemy was in- 
evitable, I had myself placed upon my horse and 
took the command of my regiment, and was first 
sent with the command to the left of the turnpike, 


and subsequently withdrawn and ordered with 
another regiment to proceed to the assistance of 
Gen. Garland, then engaged on the right. In ad- 
vancing was met by the corpse of that gallant officer 
being brought off the field. Here the fight con- 
tinued all day. Here my horse was killed under me 
on the mountain and to my own and the surprise of 
my command I commanded my troops in the battle 
until nightfall, when I threw myself down to rest 
by my brigade commander, Gen. G. B. Anderson, 
who seeing me so exhausted after the excitement of 
the day, insisted upon my going to the rear, and 
called up four litter bearers and had me carried to 
the hospital, upon reaching which I encountered a 
new danger, as the enemy were threatening the 
wagon trains, and in consequence as a matter of 
safety the wounded who were able to be moved 
without danger were ordered to be transported 
across the Potomac at Williamsport, where a few of 
the enemy's cavalry intercepted a portion of the 
train and turned them down the wrong road, and 
had by this means secured very many of our 
wagons and ambulances, before the trick was dis- 
covered, and then there were not more than half a 
dozen wagons intervening between the wagon car- 
rying me and the road which led into the enemy's 


lines. Together with others of the wounded and* 
wagoners the enemy were driven off and I was safely- 
landed once again on Virginia soil, having crossed 
the river near Williamsport. 

The next two days kept with the train and was 
carried to Shepardstown where I remained, being 
unable to report to my command, which was then 
engaged in battle at Boonsboro, where my friend 
and mess-mate. Gen. G. B. Anderson, received the 
wound from which he subsequently died after re- 
turning home. The regiment with Gen. D. H. Hill's 
command went into quarters on the Opequon, near 

Bunker's Hill, in county, I having to be sent 

to Winchester on account of the serious nature of 
the injury to my leg, as amputation began seriously 
to be talked of. Here and at camp I remained 
until in November, and would have asked for a fur- 
lough but for the ride, &c. 

I reported for duty though not recovered (and 
still have an indentation in the bone from the in- 
jury), when Gen. Hill relieved Col. Cristie, who had 
been assigned to the command of Anderson's 
Brigade, and put me in charge. 

[Here follow notes just as they appear in the orig- 
inal manuscript.] 


(Notes. — Railroad at Charlestown near Harper's 
Ferry — Berryville, Shenandoah, Paris, Fisher's Gap, 
Reily, Madison C. H., Guiness Station — Dec. ist — 
Dec. 3rd — Port Royal 20 miles below Fredericks- 
burg — Dec. 13th — night of 14th placed in front 
line — dead horses — request not to be relieved — 
bunching horses — Hedge — cries of wounded — saw 
enemy retreating eventually — informed Gen. Hill — 
said mistake — freezing — Gen. Jackson coming up — 
sent forward to see where the enemy were — look of 
disappointment and chagrin — in the matter of flag — 
relieved of brigade command by Brig.-Gen. Ram- 
sour — left Fredericksburg in command of 4th N. 
C. at peep o' day May ist — detailed and deployed 
as skirmishers — Jackson — " Press Them " ! — Creek — 
lines encountered on hill where the enemy were en- 
trenched, and on flank May 2nd — Rodes in front at- 
tacked the enemy commanded by Siegel in person.) 

The command was reorganized and perfected in 
drill and then assigned to destroy the Baltimore and 
Ohio railroad from Charlestown, the site of the ex- 
ecution of the notorious Kansas Ruffian, John 
Brown, who was executed at this point within two 
miles of Harper's Ferry. The work was done 
effectually at night by tearing up the cross-ties and 


putting them in large piles of twenty to thirty, and 
then crossing the iron rails over them and piling a 
few ties on top of each end of the rails, and just 
before day-light setting fire to them — the whole at 
once — the fire so warping the rails as to unfit them 
for use. 
< We were then encamped for some time near 

Berryville until crossed the Potomac after 

the removal of McClellan from command, when we 
crossed the Shenandoah, breaking ice for the passage 
of the men, who had to wade one bitter cold day 
over the river to meet the enemy who were reported 
as advancing on Paris. Here, for the first time, 
General R. E. Rodes, one of the bravest and best 
officers of the Confederate army, took temporary 
charge of the division which subsequently became 
so distinguished as " Rodes Division " in the history 
of the Army of Northern Virginia. Here occurred 
a misunderstanding between Gen. Rodes and my- 
self, which continued until the spring of 1864, and 
then ended by a gentlemanly and chivalrous action 
on the part of Gen. Rodes. The circumstances 
were as follows : Not knowing that Gen. Rodes was 
in command of the Division, and supposing that 
Gen. Rodes like myself was in sole command of his 
own brigade, came up when the troops were cross- 


ing the river, and expressing my opinion to Gen. 
Rodes as to the severity of the order forbidding the 
men to remove their pants, or shoes, which I thought 
ought to be done so as to enable the men to be dry 
after crossing, when the exercise would in a short 
time warm them up. Gen. Rodes said in a sharp tone 
he saw nothing hard in the order and that I had 
better go to the river and see it obeyed, that he was 
in command of the division, and the order emanated 
from him. The order was reluctantly obeyed, and 
after crossing the Shenandoah, as the men had 
necessarily straggled out of ranks, I ordered a tem- 
porary halt to enable the troops of my command to 
close up and recover their proper position in line. 
In the meantime Gen. Rodes riding to the front, 
upon seeing me, asked why I disregarded Gen. 
Jackson's order. No. — , requiring the arms to be 
stacked at all halts. The explanation was given 
and the men ordered to stack arms. Gen. Rodes 
then instructed me to await where I was and allow 
the artillery to pass him. Hour after hour passed, 
and no artillery came up. Finally Gen. Rodes sent 
a courier to know what detained me. I sent word 
to him that I was waiting for the artillery. He 
then sent back ordering me forward. Upon reach- 
ing the small town of Paris, about two miles distant, 


as I approached Gen. Rodes was standing on the 
piazza of the hotel, and enquired in a very cross 
manner, " What has kept you so long?" My reply 
was, " Obeying your order." '' What was that 
order?" *' To let the artillery pass me." ''When 
you saw that no artillery came up, you should have 
come on, as the enemy are advancing." I replied, 
'' You had just reproved me for not obeying Gen- 
eral Order No. — , and if you had not counter- 
manded your order to await the arrival of the artil- 
lery, I should have remained there until Gen. Hill 
resumed command." He then placed himself by 
my side, and went on to place the command in posi- 
tion and said, '' Halt your men here." " When I 
give the command ' Order arms ' preparatory to 
stacking arms," he said, ''you need not stack arms." 
My reply was, " It is Gen. Jackson's order, and you 
have just reproved me for its violation, and I shall 
do it." He then ordered us forward about a mile 
to await the advance of the enemy. We had sev- 
eral slight skirmishes with the enemy's cavalry, and 
then marched parallel with the Federal troops across 
the mountain at Fisher's Gap, thence down near 
Madison C. H. to Orange C. H., and thence down 
the plank road to Guiness Station, which we reached 
on the 1st of December, 1862, and on the 3rd were 


moved to Port Royal, twenty miles below Fred- 
ericksburg, where we had the first snow of any 
depth of the winter, and remained here protecting 
the river until the night of the I2th, when the enemy 
effected a crossing at Fredericksburg, and we were 
marched all night, and reached Hamilton Crossing 
about day, and were placed in the reserve on the 
extreme right of Jackson's line, and consequently 
the right of the Confederate forces, where we suf- 
fered considerably from the artillery of the enemy. 
Towards the evening of the 13th, when the first 
charge by the Federal troops was made, the brigade 
was moved forward to support the troops in the 
trenches, and took the front line. The cries of the 
wounded in the hedged old field in our front, where 
the enemy had charged, was heart-rending and sick- 
ening — pleading prayers to the Almighty for mercy, 
and begging for water to quench their thirst, which 
was continued all night. The expected charge of 
next day was deferred, and feeling anxious to meet 
the enemy, the officers of the command petitioned 
Gen. D. H. Hill to allow us to remain in the front 
line until the enemy did advance. Then was given 
us the task of burying the horses belonging to the 
artillery that had been killed to prevent the awful 
stench, not knowing how many days we would have 


to keep in line of battle. We found it a difficult 
task and not easily accomplished. During this 
night knew there was commotion among the enemy, 
and could see a light in the distance flash up and 
then again be darkened, and inferred that the enemy 
were moving to their right, and that the light was 
obscured as the troops passed, and flashed out at the 
interval between the passage of one regiment and 
the head of another, and sent to report the circum- 
stance to Gen. D. H. Hill, whose reply was that I 
need not be uneasy, they were not going to retreat 
until after another effort, and be ready for their 
charge in the morning. 

Before day next morning we were up, every man 
at his post, awaiting the expected charge. The fog 
hung low, and we waited impatiently for it to rise 
and show us the plain below. When I saw the en- 
emy were not in sight, I then went forward some 
few hundred yards to reconnoitre, and in the mean- 
time sent word to Gen. Hill that the enemy had dis- 
appeared from my front. Gen. Hill sent my report 
to Gen. Jackson, and had himself only been there a 
few minutes, when Gen. Jackson, accompanied by 
Gen. Lee, rode up to this spot, the highest eminence 
on that part of the field, and asked, "Who says the 
enemy have gone?" Gen. Hill replied, ''Col. 


Grimes," then turning- to me, Gen. Jackson said, 
*' How do you know?" I replied, " I have been down 
as far as their picket line of the day previous, and 
can see nothing of them." He said, " Move your 
skirmish line as far as the line, and see where they 
are." There was a look of deep chagrin and morti- 
fication, very apparent to the obsever, on the coun- 
tenance of each, though nothing of the sort was ex- 
pressed in words. The brigade that I then com- 
manded was composed of the 30th, Col. Parker ; 
14th, Col. Bennett ; 4th Regiment (my own) State 
Troops, 2nd Regiment State Troops under Col. 
Bynum. We then went into winter quarters, near 
Corbin's, and picketed the Rappahannock from Pres- 

tonburg to by Taylor's house. Opposite 

Taylor's house there were ladies, who constantly 
tried to signal us the movements of the enemy, par- 
ticularly when Hooker moved on in April following. 

During the month of February was relieved of 
the brigade command by Brigadier-General Ram- 
seur. Obtained a furlough for a short time and 
visited home, and upon returning was occupied in 
drilling and disciplining the 4th Regiment, which 
regiment was not excelled in the army of Northern 
Virginia and was noted for its esprit du corps. 

On Friday, the 1st of May, before the break of 


day, we were on the march down the old Fredericks- 
burg road towards Chancellorsville to meet Hooker's 
army, which had just crossed the Rapidan and 
striking out for Gen. Lee's rear. On this march, 
for the first time, Gen. Jackson appeared in full mil- 
itary costume, and conveyed by his personal ap- 
pearance an idea of the great military hero he was. 
My regiment and a Mississippi command were de- 
tailed for the purpose of feeling the enemy, and 
were deployed to drive them in when found, my left 
resting on the road and acting as an extended 
skirmish line. Gen. Jackson rode down the turn- 
pike with the artillery, and whenever necessary 
would have it to unlimber and feel the woods in our 
front, and would then ride along my line and upon 
much resistance being shown by the enemy, would 
say in suppressed tones, " Press them. Colonel." 
In this manner, without halting, we marched 
down near their main body, driving them from every 
position, and several of their regiments leaving their 
knapsacks piled up where they had been thrown off 
when called out to oppose our onward march. 
Upon crossing a creek and mill-pond, driving the 
enemy before us, all wet, tattered and torn, and 
marching over the brow of the opposite hill, the 
whole line of the main army opened fire upon us, 


and if they had reserved their fire until we had 
gained the summit, my command would have been 
annihilated. As it was, they were so astounded by 
the suddenness of this alarming fire, that they began 
to fall back in confusion, when I rallied them, ordered 
them to "lie down," as we were protected by the 
eminence upon the hill above, and went forward to 
reconnoitre in person, when I saw that we had come 
upon a large force entrenched. Made a report of 
these facts to Gen. Jackson, and was ordered to 
hold my position until relieved, which was done 
about 12 o'clock that night, and we then went down 
near the turnpike to bivouac for the night. When 
about 8 o'clock, after noticing Generals Lee and 
Jackson in close conference for some time, we took 
up that long march for the flank movement which 
resulted so seriously to the Confederate cause by 
the loss of Gen. Jackson, though successful in an 
unprecedented degree in the result of the move- 
ment. After a long, tedious and circuitous route to 
get in the rear of Hooker's army, about 3 o'clock 
on Saturday evening, the 2nd of May, we were in 
position with Rodes' Division in front, and unex- 
pectedly to them, fell upon Seigel's Corps that was 
in reserve, and drove them back for miles upon their 
lines behind the entrenchments, attacked them, and 


carried the line of earthworks, took the enemy's 
camp baggage, the meals, and hot coffe then boiling 
hot on the fire, which we found very refreshing, and 
just at dark when we supposed the fighting over, and 
was in the act of eating my supper, by an enemy's 
camp-fire and from his larder, then unexpectedly a 
brisk fire commenced, and in a few minutes cannon- 
ading, the enemy raking the woods and plank-road 
with grape and canister. Fearing the enemy were 
about to charge, I called upon my troops to occupy 
the breastwork which we had captured an hour pre- 
vious, and be prepared for the attack. 

After getting in position, and near the plank- 
road, I went up the road to see if I could hear any- 
thing to account for the sudden firing, when I met 
a party bearing a litter off the field, and enquired 
who it was. Some one said '' Lieutenant Sumter," 
and upon going a step or two further I encountered 
Gen. Rodes, who informed me that the wounded 
officer was none other than Gen. Jackson, but he 
thought it advisable that it should be concealed 
from the troops for fear of disheartening them in 
view of the serious work ahead of us in the morn- 
ing. We lay down behind the breastworks, and 
rested for the night. 

Sunday, May 3rd, Chancellorsville. Before day- 


break this morning we were called upon to hold our- 
selves in readiness to support other troops when 
called upon, as in consideration of our having borne 
the brunt of the fights for the two previous days, others 
were to take the advance. We rested just in rear of 
the Brigade, a brigade of previous good reputa- 
tion, which occupied the breastworks captured by us 
the day previous. A staff officer rode up and directed 
by command of Gen. J. E. B. Stuart (who had assumed 
command after Gen. Jackson was wounded) the 
officer in command of this brigade to advance and 
charge the enemy. Gen. Ramseur and myself being 
on the plank-road and hearing the order given. 
This brigade commander declined to move forward 
his command except by order of his division com- 
mander. Gen. Ramseur then said to this staff 
officer, '' Give me the order and I will charge." I 
remonstrated with him, saying as we had done the 
fighting of the two previous days, let this brigade 
move forward and we would support them. Gen. 
Ramseur said no, repeated his offer to advance, 
when this officer said, ''Then you make the charge. 
Gen. Ramseur." Gen. Ramseur then turned to me, 
saying, '' Let us hurry back. Call your men to at- 
tention !" which I did upon reaching the command, 
when he ordered the three regiments of his brigade 


to advance, the other regiment being detached to 
pretect our right. The command " Forward !" was 
given, and we moved up to the earthwork occupied 
by this brigade, and had to climb over these men 
now lying down behind it for protection, and over 
the breastworks, and again form in line of battle. 
Our men were entirely disgusted at their cowardly 
conduct, and I, myself, put my foot on the back 
and head of an officer of high rank in mounting the 
work, and through very spite, ground his face in the 
earth. I heard one exclaim, " You may double 
quick, but you will come back faster than you go.'' 
Mine, the 4th Regiment, was on the left of the com- 
mand, and our left rested on the plank-road. The 
command was given and we advanced in a ''double 
quick." The 4th Regiment and three companies of 
the 2nd Regiment never halted or fired until we had 
taken the enemy's works in our front and bayonet- 
ting Federal soldiers on the opposite side of the 
earthwork. The hill across the ravine was covered 
by many batteries of artillery, from forty to fifty 
guns, which had been scouring the woods through 
which we had just passed with grape and canister. 
Seeing their infantry driven from their works, they 
abandoned this artillery. The enemy made three 

distinct attempts to retake this work, forming their 



men- in column by taking advantage of a ravine just 
beyond the turnpike, but each time were driven 
back with severe loss, our men acting with great 
courage, enthusiasm and determination. 

The artillerists seeing only a small portion of the 
line held, now rallied again to their guns and opened 
upon us. About the same time my attention was 
called to my right and rear where I saw large num- 
bers of the enemy fast closing up our line for retreat, 
(the right of Ramseur's Brigade having halted to 
deliver their fire upon encountering the enemy where 
they were engaged, while we had taken the breast- 
work). Seeing these Federal troops in my rear, I 
gave the order to abandon the captured works and 
fall back to the protection of the earthwork still occu" 

pied by this ( ) Brigade, through whose cowardice 

we had suffered so severely. We crossed to the right 
of the plank road, and got back to our line in the best 
manner possible. In this charge my sword was sev- 
ered by a ball, my clothes perforated in many places, 
and a ball embedded in my sword belt and the scab- 
bard, and I received a very severe contusion on the 
ioot ; and upon reaching the earthwork from which 
we had first started, I had only sufficient strength to 
get over, and lost consciousness from exhaustion 
and pain. One of my own ambulance corps seeing 


my condition, came to my relief, and from a canteen 
was pouring water over my head when I was recalled 
to my senses by the voice of Gen. R. E. Rodes, our 
Division Commander, inquiring, " What troops are 
these?" The commanding ofificer who had refused 
to advance when ordered by Gen. Stuart's staff offi- 
cer, said the Brigade. Gen. Rodes said, 

" Why have you not joined in the charge ?" The re- 
ply was, " We have had no orders to advance." 
Under the stimulus of this falsehood, I fully aroused, 
pronounced it a base lie ; that I had heard the order 
given myself, and repeated his reply. Whereupon, 
Gen. Rodes took out his pistol, rode up to this officer, 
presented the muzzle to his head, and, with an epi- 
thet of odium, told him to forward his men, or he 
would blow his brains out. He then gave the com- 
mand, and this ( ) Brigade then moved forward, 

and, without firing a gun, reached the breastworks 
that we had taken, and found the Federal forces had 
evacuated the hill, and safely carried off all their ar- 
tillery posted there. If these troops had moved 
forward in obedience to orders, and encountered the 
enemy, we would have advanced quickly to their 
support, and captured the principal part of Hooker's 
artillery. As it was, we met with terrific slaughter 


in my command, and failed to take the artillery. 
This closed the fighting at Chancellorsville for the 

I was taken upon a litter to the hospital, where 
my contused foot was attended to. The next day 
I rode over the woods we had charged through, and 
examined the works we had taken, and found scores 
upon scores of the enemy killed, around and in front 
of the work, doubtless killed by my command and 
the three companies of the 2nd Regiment. Forty- 
six officers and men out of less than 300 (4th Regi- 
ment) were buried near this breastwork the next day. 

This charge was as gallant, noble, and self-sacri- 
ficing as the world-renowned charge at Balaklava of 
the immortal " six hundred." Here Polk, my faith- 
ful servant, was tempted by the offer of $500 to sell 
the forage that had been procured by him for my 
horse, but could not be bought off. 

From here we returned to near " Hamilton's Cross- 
ing," and turned in the woods to recover from our 
severe trials of the several previous days, and re- 
organized, examined, and recommended for appoint- 
ment and accustom our new officers to command. 
Here we passed the time in drilling until about the 
first of June, when we took up our march for Penn- 
sylvania. We crossed the Shenandoah near P'ront 


Royal on the 12th of June, and attacked the enemy 
at Berryville. 

Note . — Servant — Cavalry — Camp — Squirrel — 
Williamsport — Hagerston — Dr. McGill, &c. 


In compliance with orders, I have the honor of 
submitting the following report of the part taken by 
the 4th Regiment N. C. State Troops in the engage- 
ments around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On Wed- 
nesday, the 1st of July, we were encamped near 
Heidelburg, and were under arms and on the march 
by sunrise. About 4 p. m. arrived near the battle- 
field, and formed in line of battle, being on the left 
of our Brigade. After waiting a few minutes, were 
ordered to advance in line of battle, which was soon 
countermanded, and then moved by the right flank. 
After proceeding a few hundred yards, this Regiment, 
together with the 2nd Regiment, were recalled by 
Maj. Gen. Rodes and fronted on a hill to repel any 
attack from that quarter, as at that time there were 
indications of an advance on the part of the enemy. 
This position was parallel with the road down which 
the other two Regiments of our Brigade had moved. 
After a very few minutes, the enemy not advancing, 


and a Brigade of theirs heretofore obliquing to the 
left instead of advancing towards us, Gen. Rodes 
ordered me with the 2nd Regiment to advance. After 
getting from under cover of the hill, we were exposed 
to a severe, galling and enfilading fire from a wood 
to our right, which compelled me to change front 
towards the right. We then advanced upon the 
enemy, joining our Brigade, and driving them in 
great confusion, and but for the fatiguing and ex- 
hausting march of the day would have succeeded in 
capturing a very large number of prisoners. As it 
was, we captured more by far than the number of 
men in our command, but the troops were too ex- 
hausted to move rapidly, as they otherwise would 
have done. We were the first to enter the town of 
Gettysburg, and halted to rest on the road leading 
to Tomsfield. 

We remained in that position during that night 
and Thursday. On Thursday evening about dark 
we advanced to make a night attack upon the ene- 
my's works, but when we had approached to within 
a few hundred yards, and drawing the fire of their 
pickets, which wounded several of my men, we were 
recalled and placed on a road, where we remained 
until 3 a. m. Saturday morning, at times subjected 
to severe cannonading. We were then taken to the 


crest of hills in our rear, which position we retained 
until Sunday morning, when we were withdrawn. 
Appended is a list of casualties during this engage- 
ment. (Omitted.) 

Two much cannot be said in praise of both officers 
and men of my command, all conducting themselves 
most admirably. 

I am, Major, 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Col. Afth N, C. State Troops. 

Summary of Notes.— Left Garysburg 20th July, 

1 86 1. Arrived at Manassas 29th July — remained 
until March, 1862. At Yorktown 9th April, 1862. 
Position outside of fortifications evacuated 3rd May, 

1862. Supported other troops at Williamsburg May 
5th, but not actively engaged. Seven Pines— loss 
374 killed and wounded at Seven Pines. Crossed 
Potomac at Cheek's Ford, near Leesburg, 7th of 
Sept. — encamped near Frederick City, Md. Re- 
crossed the Potomac 19th of Sept. at Sheperdstown. 
Remained in the Valley encamped at Bunker Hill, 
Winchester, Front Royal, and Strasburg. Crossed 
the '' ridge" three times. 



Chancellorsville — 46 killed, 157 wounded and 58 
taken prisoners out of 327 carried into action. Re- 
mained at Hamilton's Crossing until. 3rd of June. 
On the 9th went to support of our cavalry at Brandy 
Station, but not engaged. Went to Valley, crossed 
mountains, and river at Front Royal. Assisted in 
driving the enemy from fortifications at Berryville 
and Martinsburg. Crossed the Potomac with the 
advance at Williamsport, Md., on 15th June, 1863. 
Next day advanced to Hagerstown, acting as Provost 
Guard of the city during the stay of the enemy in 
the vicinity. From there via Greencastle, Chambers- 
burg and Shippensburg, went to Carlyle, Penn., where 
we went on picket duty eleven miles from Harris, 
burg, the capital of the State. Thence to Gettys- 
burg via Heidelburg. Assisted in covering retreat. 
Recrossed the Potomac 14th July, 1863. Stopped 
at Darksville, then came to Front Royal, formed line 
of battle, resisted enemy's advance by that route. 
Withdrew by Luray road, crossed the mountains at 
Snicker's Gap, thence to Orange Court House. Sent 
to Morton's Ford to prevent the enemy crossing. 
On 9th Oct., 1863, ordered to Orange C. H., and 
went by Madison C. H. to flank the enemy near Cul- 
pepper. Enemy made formidable resistance at War- 
renton Junction, and , which was overcome, and 


on the 14th the Regiment reached Bristoe's Station, 
tore up and destroyed railroad track, and fell back to 
Kelly's Ford on the Rappahannock. After remaining 
there several days, returned to Morton's Ford on 
the Rapidan river. 

(Oct. i;th, 1863, Catlett's Station. We fought 
several hours on Wednesday, 14th inst., a running 
fight. Loss from North Carolina greater than from 
any other State. Drove the enemy beyond Centre- 
ville. Now tearing up bridges and destroying rail- 
roads ; in a few days fell back to original position. 
October 20th, returned home to make arrangements 
about withdrawing my name as candidate for Con- 
gress. November 17th, returned to the army, took 
command of the Brigade, Gen. Ramseur being 

(Copy of letter to the Voters of the 2nd Congressional District of 
North Carolina.) 

Having been repeatedly solicited both through 
the public channels of communication as well as by 
private letters from numerous and influential gentle- 
men from the different counties composing the Dis- 
trict, also from troops in the field, urging me to an- 
nounce myself as a candidate to represent the 2nd 
District in our next Congress, I feel called upon, un- 
der such circumstances, to assure my friends of my 



proper appreciation of their kind preference, and 
state that if my fellow-citizens see fit to elect me, I 
shall esteem it a high honor to become their repre- 
sentative, and shall devote my entire energies ear- 
nestly to the discharge of the important duties of 
such a responsible position, seeking at all times, b\' 
every honorable means in the power of the Govern- 
ment, to restore the blessings of peace once again to 
our distressed land ; and my chief aim shall be to the 
accomplishment of that end, but fully impressed that 
no terms should be considered for our interest that 
do not recognize our complete and eternal separation 
from the North, and acknowledgment of our inde- 
pendence ; and I regret exceedingly, since allowing 
my name to come before the public as a candidate for 
their sufTrages, that it is not within my power to 
meet my friends face to face before the election and 
express my vieu^s on the most momentous topics of 
the day, so pregnant with mighty consequences to the 
success of our cause; but 1 will publish in a few days 
my opinions on these subjects, as my duties in the 
field will not admit of my absence from the com- 
mand during the present indications of an engage- 
ment with the enemy. 

Yours very respectfully, 

(Signed) Bryan Grimes. 

[About October, 1863.] 


(Copy of letter withdrawing from candidacy of representing 2nd 
Congressional District, N. C.) 

To the Voters of the 2nd Congressional 

District of North Carolina : 
Some time since, contrary to my wishes, I an- 
nounced myself as a candidate to represent the 2nd 
Congressional District in our next Congress. Pre- 
ferring to remain in active service in the field until 
peace and our independence is secured, and believ- 
ing that I can render more effective aid in attaining 
that end in my present position, have under the cir- 
cumstances concluded to withdraw my name, trust- 
ing that my friends will appreciate the motives 
which induce me to this step, assuring them that at 
some future time I will cheerfully assume any trust 
or responsibility that they may see fit to require at 
my hands. 

Very respectfully yours, 
(Signed,) Bryan Grimes, 

Colonel \th N. C. Troops. 

(Copy of a letter to Col. Jno. A. Young, of Charlotte, who was at 
one time Lieutenant-Colonel of the 4th Regiment, and a member 
of the North Carolina Legislature when this letter was written.) 

Morton's Ford, Va., December 6th, 1883. 
My Dear Colonel : You have learned through the 
papers that we have been at the Yankees again, or 



rather it would be more proper to say that they 
have again taken up their " Onward to Richmond," 
but after a short time and a few volleys of musketry 
they did not move on quite so expeditiously and 
confidently, and upon examination of our works and 
defenses, concluded to ''change front faced to the 
rear," which was done and that hurriedly, much to 
our chagrin, for our men had never felt more confident 
of victory than on that occasion. Our position was 
equally as strong, if not more so, than that at Freder- 
icksburg, which you remember you considered almost 
impregnable. Upon the discovery that they had 
disappeared, our Brigade pursued with the old 4th 
Regiment in the lead, as usual, taking up a goodly 
number of stragglers — the meanest in pppearance 
that we have ever encountered yet, being the lowest 
scum of the Yankee foreign population. It was 
really a source of congratulation and encouragement 
to see that they were reduced to such straits for 
filling their ranks. One good soldier, I know, must 
be equal to ten such specimens of the geiuis Jioino. 
Not one in twenty of those we captured were natives 
of the United States. It was reported by these 
prisoners that Gen. Warren's Corps was ordered to 
attack, but refused to do so. 


I have just written a brief history of the Regi- 
ment (4th N. C. State Troops) which you can see by 
caUing on Capt. Foote, Adjutant General, officer in 
charge of the '' Roll of Honor." I give you leave to 
call for it and revise and correct it, and embellish it, 
if you wish it. Modesty forbids my saying near as 
much as I could have done in praise of it. By call- 
ing soon you can read it before Capt. Foote 
has transcribed it on his books. In reference to 
other enclosures which I have had forwarded to him, 
you will perceive that our loss from disease and the 
casualties of battle exceed five hundred. I don't 
know if any other Regiment can show such a record. 
Our Regiment is now in tolerably fair trim, but not 
such as it used to be. 

Bye-the-bye, there has been a piece of music com- 
posed and dedicated to the Old Fourth. I sent a 
copy to Mrs. Grimes. Call and have her to sing it 
for you. I wish you to make her acquaintance. 
You will find her at her father's, Mr. Bryan. * ^ 
**^*-5f^^I learn 

that your Legislature is disposed to be fractious and 
intractable, like it was last winter. Can't you cor- 
rect it ? John, your son, is still at Richmond under 
the charge of the surgeons, I hope, though, not dan- 
gerously ill, but will be able to report shortly. Of 



course you hear from him frequently. ^ '" 
* ^ - ^ -" -^ -=^ My paper 

has run out, so has a legislator's patience, I fear, so 

Truly your friend, 
(Signed,) Brvan Grimes. 

To CoL John A. Young, Charlotte, N. C, 

[A copy of a request made of our Representatives in Congress.] 

We, the undersigned, officers of the Confederate 
States Army from the State of North Carolina, de- 
sire to call the attention of our Representatives to 
the unjust and arbitrary manner of selecting general 
officers, and earnestly request that you call atten- 
tion of the Senate to this matter before the present 
appointments are confirmed by that body. We be- 
lieve there are instances where officers of great 
worth and skill, and of unexceptionable habits", and 
who had recommendations from general officers of 
high standing under whom they had served, have 
been overslaughed, their juniors, who were not su- 
perior to them in military skill or deportment, being 
appointed over them upon the recommendation of 
a single general officer. In some instances lieuten- 
ant-colonels, upon the recommendation of a single 


general officer, have been appointed over many 
Colonels serving in the same Brigade or Division, 
some of whom had leceived recommendations from 
general officers under whom they had served, and 
had also been mentioned in official reports for dis- 
tinguished gallantry in battle. We believe this sys- 
tem of appointment to be unjust, and calculated to 
injure our cause, that it places the reputation of an 
officer at the mercy of his immediate superior, who, 
from favoritism or other impure motive, may injure 
his military standing by the recommendation of the 
appointment of a junior over him. 

We would therefore suggest that resolutions to 
the following effect be submitted before these ap- 
pointments are confirmed : 

That all appointments to brigadier-generalship, 
now for confirmation of officers who were not en- 
titled to expect such promotion by seniority, i. e., 
who were not next in rank to the vacant position ; 
that the number of battles in which such officer 
has been engaged exercising a commission at least 
equal to the command next below that to w^iich he 
has been appointed ; also how often and by whom such 
officer has been recommended for promotion, and 
in what battles he has been complimented in official 


reports for distinguished conduct, be laid before the 
Senate for information. That the same be shown 
of those officers from this State amongst whose 
troops the vacancy is to be filled who have been 
passed over by such appointments. That the selec- 
tion of the lower grade of general officers be not 
confined to the Brigade or Division in which such 
vacancy occurs, unless all other things are equal, 
then the Brigade or Division to have preference, but 
whenever a vacancy occurs amongst the troops of a 
particular State, the selection for promotion to be 
made from all the troops of that State serving in the 
army in which the vacancy occurs. We would state 
that the War Department has adopted a system of 
promotion for all grades below that of general, 
which we think just and efficient. That an officer 
cannot be promoted over his seniors unless they have 
been examined by a board and failed to pass their 
examination, or any especial act of conspicuous gal- 
lantry entitles him to such promotion. It is not 
sufficient to show that the officer whose promotion 
is asked for has behaved in battle with great skill 
and gallantry, but some special act must be stated. 
Whilst we do not desire to limit the selection of 
general officers so much, as is necessary with the 


lower grades, we do desire that the appointment of 
juniors over seniors shall not be made without 

(Signed,) E. C. BRABBLE, 

Colonel '^2d Regiment N. C. Troops. 

J. J. Iredell, 
Major 53<7? Regiment N. C. Troops. 
Junius Daniel, 

Brigadier- General. 
James H. Wood, 
Lieutenant-Colonel d^th N. C. S. Troops. 
Wm. R. Cox, 
Colonel 27td N. C. Infantry. 
F. M. Parker, 
Colonel 2)0th N. C. Troops. 
Bryan Grimes, 
Colonel A,th N. C. State Troops. 

April, 1864. Recommended for Brigadier Gen- 
eral by Generals Daniel, Ramseur and Rodes. 

(Original Copy.) 
Orange C. H., Va., April 24th, 1864. 

Gen. S. Cooper, A. & L General : 

We feel it to be our duty as North Carolina offi- 
cers, and with a high sense of the good of the ser- 
vice, to recommend Col. Bryan Grimes, 4th N. C. 



Troops, for promotion to the command of the Brig- 
ade about to be formed of the ist, 3rd, 55th and an- 
other North Carohna Regiment. We do also recom- 
mend for this position Col. W. R. Cox, 2nd North 

Col. Grimes is among the senior Colonels from 
our State. He has commanded his Regiment from 
the battle of " Seven Pines" through all the battles 
in which the Army of Northern Virginia has partici- 
pated, except "Sharpsburg," when he was disabled, 
and " 1st Fredericksburg" when he commanded the 
Brigade of which he was senior Colonel. In the offi. 
cial reports of all their actions, Colonel Grimes' con- 
duct is highly spoken of by his senior of^cers. In 
battle Colonel G. is conspicuous for skill and gal- 
lantry. He commanded for several months (from 
Maryland to Fredericksburg) the Brigade now com- 
manded by Brig. Gen. Ramseur. As a disciplinarian 
Col. Grimes has few superiors. He is ever zealous 
in the performance of military duty, and in provi- 
ding for and taking care of his men. 

We believe the claims of Col. Grimes and Col. 
Cox to be very strong — by the appointment of either, 
the good of the service will be secured. 


We, therefore, earnestly recommend their claims 
to his Excellency the President for promotion. 
(Signed) S. D. Ramseur, 

Brigadier- General. 
(Signed) JUNIUS Daniel, 


^ Headquarters Rodes' Division, April 27tli, 1864. 

I take pleasure in endorsing Col. Grimes' claims 
to promotion. He has served with me in this Divis- 
ion since its formation at Yorktown, and shown him- 
self under all circumstances to be a good and relia- 
ble officer. He is a thorough gentleman, brave to a 
fault, invaluable in an action, and his habits are 
worthy of imitation. Respectfully forwarded. 
(Signed) R. E. Rodes, 

Major- General. 

GOLDSBORO, N. €., March loth, 1863. 

Col. Bryan Grimes entered the service as Major of 
the 4th North Carolina Regiment, and for more than 
a year had the admirable training of the lamented 
/ Gen. G. B. Anderson, who was Colonel of that Regi- 

Col. Grimes led the 4th with most distinguished 
gallantry at '' Seven Pines," and in all the subsequent 


battles of the year 1862 except Sharpsburg (when he 
was ill). He has been in many pitched battles, and 
has behaved most gallantly in them all. I think 
that he has seen more service than any Colonel from 
North Carolina. His gallantry, ripe experience, ad- 
mirable training, intelligence and moral worth con- 
s<-itute strong claims for promotion. 

(Signed) D. H. Hill, 

Major- General. 

(Extracts from letters to his Wife.) 

Enemy crossed at Germania Ford May 4th and 
5th, 1864. Would not only take black prisoners, but 
no white. 

May 6th. — Whipped the enemy like fury last even- , 
ing. 6th. Have whipped them badly. Burnside's 
Corps particularly stampeded like sheep. Some of 
our troops did not behave so well as expected, per- 
mitting the enemy to break lines, or falling back in 
confusion. Gen. Lee took command in person. 
With waving hat .in hand, charged, driving helter 
skelter. Our Brigade suffered slightly — charged 
Burnside's Corps, who broke and run before we got 
a good chance at them ; Indians, also, who did no 

6 o'clock Saturday morning. — Enemy are moving. 


Sharp shooters feeling to see if they be in position, 
but hear nothing from them. Spoils immense — 
looks bright for Confederacy. 

May 7th. — Enemy active, but nothing accom- ^ 
plished by them ; regarded as badly whipped .and 
demoralized. Walker Anderson killed, Col. Avery 
mortally wounded, Lieut. Col. Davidson prisoner, 
Haywood wounded. 

May 9th. — Well, but greatly exhausted ; was only / 
slightly wounded in instep of left foot. Will keep 
on duty. Are getting the best of fights. 

Battle field of Spottsylvania, May nth. — By grace 
of God am still spared. The Yankees have been 
punished severely. We now have good breastworks, 
and will slay them worse than ever. Major Iredell 
killed yesterday; shot through the head while 
bravely rallying his Regiment. 

May 14th. — On Thursday the enemy attacked 
Major-General Johnson's line, breaking through, cap- 
turing himself and Brigadier-General Stuart of Mary- 
land, together with two thousand prisoners and 
twenty cannon. About 5 o'clock A. M., Ramseur's 
Brigade were ordered up to check the enemy, who 
were pressing our men, and kept them at bay for 
about two hours when we were ordered to charge, 
drove them (Ramseur's Brigade alone) back to the 



captured works, rested a few minutes, and Ramseur 
having been shot in his right arm and not able to 
keep up, and seeing no one to apply to, and seeing 
the necessity for speedy action, I ordered a second 
charge, myself leading them, and by the very bold- 
ness of the move recovered the entire works and all 
the guns, capturing many prisoners and killing more 
Yankees than the Brigade numbered men. They 
made repeated efforts to retake works but we suc- 
cessfully repulsed every attack and held possession 
until 4 o'clock A. M. Friday, when we were ordered 
to move out, which we did just before day. Gen. 
Lee rode down in person to thank the Brigade for 
its gallantry, saying, '' we deserved the thanks of the 
country, we had saved his army." Gen. Daniel who \ 
was engaged on our left w^as seriously wounded and 
yesterday morning, at his request, I was assigned to 
his Brigade. He died last night. He was an ex- 
cellent ofificer, and although' I probably gained a 
Brigade by his death, I would have preferred to re- 
main in statu quo rather than his services should be 
lost to the country. North Carolina has suffered 

May 1 6th. — My escapes are regarded as miracu- 
lous when account is taken of number killed, par- 
ticularly as 1 never order my men to perform any .^ 


duty attended with danger without sharing it with 

May 17th.— Little fighting. Yesterday enemy 
moved forward to move hospital with 1 500 wounded 
which they carried to Fredericksburg. Loss to 
North Carolina has been very great. Many most 
gallant officers killed. Gen. Daniel had been recom- 
mended by Gen. Lee for Major-General. 

May 1 8th. — Yankees charged in front but were 
repulsed. Considerably strengthened Grant con- 
tinues to run them against us. They can't hold out 
much longer. 

May 19th. — Enemy have disappeared ; have or- / 
ders to be prepared to move so as to meet them. 
This is the fifteenth day since we have met them- 
Have been fighting more or less every day. If they 
would retire beyond the river and give us a breath- 
ing spell, it would be decidedly advantageous. 
Nearly all are fagged out and need rest. 

May 20th. — We made a flank movement last 
evening and had a very sharp fight with the enemy. 
Two of the " Old Guard " killed— Gus Byees and 
Taylor. The old Fourth lost sixty-five killed and 
wounded. Daniel's Brigade behaved most gallantly, 
conducting itself most excellently. The bullets fell 


thick and heavy around me and amid it all has my 
life again been spared. 

May 22d, Hanover Junction. — We reached here 
to-day after a most fatiguing jaunt. The enemy at- 
tempting to flank us as we moved down. 

May 25th. — Yankees still continue obstinate and 
still continue to rush on to their doom, as more of 
them did yesterday when they came on my line. 
We drove them with considerable slaughter, losing 
but few in Daniel's Brigade, who bore the brunt of 
the fighting. Have now been in line of battle forty- 
eight hours. 

May 31st. — Yesterday a hard day; the exertion 
I made and the fatigue undergone almost superhu- 
man. Again this Division was called upon to make 
a flank movement. Whipped them but at consid- 
erable loss to Daniel's Brigade. At least three- 
fourths of the killed and wounded were from this 
Brigade. There is no doubt its being a fine body 
of men and will do credit to my command. Major 
Smith was killed and Lieutenant Lemay of Raleigh. 

June 5th, 1864. — Received commission as Brig- 
adier-General, which, according to Gen. Rodes' re- 
quest, bore date of 19th of May, 1864, on which oc- 
casion on a flank movement near Fredericksburg, 
towards the rear of Grant's army, I handled the 


Brigade with such efficiency that Gen. Rodes ap- 
proached me soon after the battle, and shaking me 
by the hand, said : " You have saved Ewell's Corps, 
and shall be promoted, and your commission shall 
bear date from this day." After remaining in posi- 
tion sufficiently long for the wounded and stragglers 
to come up, retired to position of the Corps in the 
morning. My rank is permanent, so direct your 
letters hereafter to Brig.-Gen. Grimes. 

June 7th. — Another flank movement last evening ; 
did not amount to much. Last night came to this 
spot near Richmond, and for the first time in thirty 
odd days have come in the woods to encamp, massed 
by regiments. Have heretofore rested on our arms 
in line of battle. 

June 8th. — Had orders to be prepared to move 
at daylight, but are still here near Cold Harbor. 
My old Regiment made application to be transferred 
to this Brigade, which I hope will be granted. I 
have an affection for them, having been associated 
with them so long. 

June 13th, near Southana River. — Marched over 
thirty miles to-day over sandy road. Everything 
and everybody exhausted. Left Cold Harbor at 2 
o'clock A. M. Appears as if we are going to the 

Valley of Virginia. Are now on the Charlottesville 


road. Must either be after Hunter or going into 
Maryland. I pray Christ that it will end more suc- 
cessfully than the other invasion. 

June 15th, near Gordonsville. — Stopped hereto 
camp for night. Think we will move up the Valley. 

June 1 8th. — In the morning wq take the cars for 
Lynchburg, after a most fatiguing and oppressive 
march. During Gen. Rodes' absence to visit his 
wife, I have command of the Division. 

June 2 1st, 1864, Top of Blue Ridge. — Have been 
pursuing Yankees at such a rapid gait, haven't had 
time to write. Been almost without rations — hard 
marching, and nothing to eat. Start before day, not 
stop till dark, except to rest for ten minutes. We 
move immediately. 

June 22nd, Salem, Va. — Since leaving Richmond 
have scarcely rested any to invigorate our exhausted 
energies, and with it all a deficiency of rations. For 
the duration of forty-eight hours my Brigade did not 
have a mouthful of bread, and but little flesh — very 
little straggling and very little complaining. Occa- 
sionally, when Gen. Rodes or Early passed the line, 
the cry was, " Bread, bread, bread ;" but through it 
all, we made a forced march for the last day, and 
arrived too late to inflict much damage on the enemy, 
which was very annoying, as we expected to get sup- 


plies from them, but instead found only empty wag- 
ons and worthless provisions. At Lynchburg the 
ladies sent us supplies of good edibles for the Gen- 
eral ofificers. At Liberty I was invited out to break- 
fast, which I enjoyed very much. 

Note. — July, 1864, I returned home on sick 
furlough, being so completely worn out from fatigue 
and hardship as to bring on a severe attack. Was 
in hospital in Lynchburg a few days before leaving 
for Raleigh. Was quite unwell when I returned, 
and had surgeon's certificate of unfitness for duty, 
but imagined that duty called me back to the army. 

Staunton, August 6th. — Arrived here sooner than 
I expected. Found Polk and my horse Warren, who 
had been sent home to be taken care of, waiting for 
me. Shall leave early in the morning for Winches, 
ter. Learn that our troops moved into Maryland 

New Market, August 8th. — Have stopped for 
dinner. I have found a very agreeable travelling 
companion in Captain Burrill, a first cousin of Gen- 
eral Lee. Without his company this horseback ride 
of one hundred miles would have been very lonely. 


August loth, Nort Fork of Shenandoah River. — 
Have learned that our troops have returned, and are 
encamped at Bunker Hill, where I will rejoin them 

Stevenson's Depot, August I2th. — My surmises 
that they would not remain long at Bunker Hill are 
correct, and the indications are that we will not stay 
here long, but cannot conjecture in what direction 
we will move. General Early out-generals all of us. 
No one can guess when he is going to move, or 
where he will next bring up. The Yankees begin to 
think him ubiquitous. 

Strasburg, Aug. 13th. — Have been expecting a 
fight ever since I rejoined my command last Wednes- 
day, but have had none as yet. We have through 
strategic movements fallen back from Bunker Hill 
to this place. Have been sick, but am better. Have 
felt so badly, I regretted having gone contrary to 
advice in returning so soon. 

August 14th.— The enemy are very quiet to-day. 
This morning we drew up to attack them, but they 
fell back, and we quietly returned to our rest in the 

Strasburg, Aug. 15th. — Another day of rest and 
free from fighting. Had a delightful serenade from 
my old command. 


Strasburg, Aug. i6th. — Another quiet day, and 
from indications think it may be several weeks 
before we have an engagement ; for the enemy, 
as well as ourselves, are erecting breastworks. Gen- 
eral Anderson will join us, when, as we will be tol- 
erably strong, we may strike a blow at them. 

August 1 8th, Near Winchester. — Again have we 
driven the enemy from position, and followed them 
to this place, they still falling back, and not show- 
ing much fight. Their numbers are double ours. 
We were joined by Gen. Anderson's force this morn- 
ing ; also a Division of Cavalry. Could not write 
yesterday, was on the march all day. Now 2 o'clock, 
and have not broken my fast. Am invited out to 
dinner, which I accept with pleasure. 

Bunker Hill, Aug. 19th. — The enemy continue to 
fall back, and we have pressed until reaching the 
present position. What is Gen. Early's intention I 
can't say. 

Bunker Hill, Aug. 20th. — We have an admirable 
camp, but have had nothing but beef and flour, not 
even hog meat or salt, to help along. We remain here 
a day or two to threaten the enemy. I received orders 
this morning, when it was thought the enemy were 
advancing, to make a big show of fight and bluff 
tliem off, if possible ; but if they came in force, to 


hold them a Httle while, to give the others time to 
retreat, and then fall back. 

Charlestown, Va., August 2ist. — I have had to- 
day a good many killed and wounded, we being in 
advance, but have not had all my command en- 
gaged. The enemy have a large force between us 
and Harper's Ferry, which Early is demonstrating 
upon, and are contesting the ground most stub- 
bornly. This is a mere feint to frighten them and 
cover some important move on our part. I have no 
idea we will fight here, for the enemy outnumber us 
three to one, and Early knows two well the im- 
portance of preserving his army. 

Charlestown, August 22d. — My experience to- 
day has been varied. Early this morning we pitched 
into the Yankees and drove them through Charles- 
town to their position on Boliver heights where they 
are watching us and occasionally throwing a shell 
at us. I have command of the front line, and this 
morning while visiting the picket line as soon as 
they spied us their artillery opened upon us, which 
passed within a few feet of my horse. 

August 23rd, near Harper's Ferry. — Amid the 
fighting have escaped injury so far. Find every- 
thing more plentiful here than in any part of the 
valley, and the people anxious to conduce to our 


pleasure by every means in their power. They are 
loyal to the backbone. 

Charlestown, August 24th.— Another day spent 
between Charlestown and Harper's Ferry, the enemy 
occasionally demonstrating, and about 12 o'clock 
to-day their cavalry charged our picket line and 
drove them in, and for the first time in many a day 
I doubled quicked to reach my command in time 
to form line of battle, so as to give them a fitting 
reception. At the time I was visiting a neighboring 
Brigade, but reached my own and formed line of 
battle before any other troops. After remaining in 
line half an hour found there was no use and re- 
turned to our resting place. 

August 27th, Leestown, near Shepardstown, Va. 
Have been so busy for two days have not had time 
to write. Wednesday we left Charlestown and ad- 
vanced towards Shepardstown. When about half 
way the enemy's cavalry attacked Breckinridge's 
command, which caused a halt, when Rodes' Divis- 
ion came up, my Brigade being in advance, we 
formed line of battle, threw out one Regiment as 
skirmishers, and advanced upon them, driving them 
before us. W^e chased them for upwards of two 
hours, many of the men fainting from exhaustion. 
We drove them entirely from the Baltimore and 


Ohio Railroad and beyond the turnpike, when we 
halted to rest and found ourselves two miles in ad- 
vance of any other troops, when at the beginning we 
were the third Division in the line. And again that 
morning, when near Shepardstown, and the others 
had halted for our approach, we came upon the 
enemy and followed them until they crossed the 
Potomac. Whenever we are able to get them in a 
run, I feel really like a boy and enjoy the sport im- 
mensely. After halting, as we supposed for the 
night, and I had engaged supper for self and staff, 
we received orders to move on the Martinsburg 
pike, but I could not leave without that supper, as 
I had eaten nothing since sunrise that morning. 
About lo o'clock that night reached the ground 
allotted to us, and after placing men in position, 
laid down and slept as quietly as an infant. 

Bunker's Hill, August 29th. — Am well. 

August 30th. — Still at Bunker's Hill quiet. 

August 31st. — Severe march and skirmishing. 

September ist, 1864. — At 8 A. M. we were called 
out and moved down the road a few miles when we 
encountered the Yankee cavalry and pushed on, 
driving them through Martinsburg, leaving large 
quantities of pork, corn, oats, clothes, shoes, boots, 
&c. I enjoyed the sport, and after driving them ten 


miles beyond Martinsburg, came back to camp with- 
out the loss of a single man, and few wounded. 
We inflicted a right severe punishment upon the 
enemy, besides a big fright. They thought we were 
on the route to Williamsport, Md. My Brigade was 
the only one which went beyond the town, the 
others being halted on the edge of town. 

Camp near Winchester, September 4th. — We are 
having quite a stirring time, and giving the Yankees 
a hot time, and doing a great deal of marching our- 

September 6th, 1864, Stevenson's Depot. — We 
have moved down in the direction of Berryville, 
where we formed to attack the enemy, but found 
them so strongly entrenched after skirmishing for a 
.couple of hours we retired for the night, when we 
reached camp wet, and exhausted, and hungry, with- 
out a wagon or tent to shelter us from the rain, 
spent the night all exposed and woke up next morn- 
ing drenched to the skin. About ten o'clock began 
to retire from the front of the enemy, and moved 
down toward this point, where we started from the 
day before. When within a couple of miles learned 
that the enemy was between us and our encamp- 
ment, and driving our cavalry before them. My 
Brigade being in advance formed and prepared to 


fight. Charged them at double quick, and had a 
most exciting chase, breaking them in every effort 
they made to make a stand and drove them until 
night came on and prevented further pursuit. This 
fight was during one of the severest rains that I 
have ever seen fall. Tom Devereux had his horse 
killed under him, and kept up with me on foot until 
I ordered him to stop. Both he and Tuck Badger 
behave remarkably well under fire. 

September 7th, '64, Stevenson's Depot. — Weather 
terrible. No orders to move to-day. 

September loth, 1864, Stevenson's Depot. — The 
weather continues very rainy. We are now very 
much in need of clothes and shoes, there being at 
least two hundred barefooted and half naked men 
in my command. Am using every exertion to get 
them clothed, but with all our rags and nakedness 
can put up a most beautiful fight. The men go into 
action with spirit, and I feel like a boy after being 
in a fight a few minutes. To-morrow we break up 
camp and again go to Bunker Hill. Gen. Early has 
been very successful in all his manoeuvres. 

September nth, 1864, Bunker Hill. — We have 
again changed. Are now nearer the Potomac than 
on yesterday. Expect to move again to-day. Had 
to drive the enemy from this point so we could take 


possession. I learn that the enemy's loss was very 
heavy Monday when my Brigade charged them. 

Stevenson's Depot, September 13th, 1864. — We 
are under marching orders. From the report of ar- 
tillery it will be up the Valley, as the enemy ap- 
pears to be advancing in that direction. The nights 
are very cold, find two or three blankets comfortable. 

Stevenson's Depot, September i6th and 17th. — 
Had a serenade last night given by the band of the 
" Old Fourth Regiment," which I appreciate as a 
mark of respect and esteem from my old command. 
Anderson's Division returned to Richmond. Only 
our original force left. 

Strasburg, September 20th, 1864. — Yesterday wx 
had a most terrible fight at Winchester, and we were 
very roughly handled by the enemy. We lost a 
great many men, and our troops did not behave with 
their usual valor. With great exertion on my part 
and that of my staff mine did better than any other, 
but that was not as well as I desired. Gen. Rodes 
was killed. Capt. London, Capt. Still and Lieut. 
Barnes, of my staff, were wounded. The horse of 
one of my couriers and my own horse killed under 
me, and for nine hours was under heavy fire, and 
men falling around me almost every instant. Have 
been as near exhausted as a man could well be, not 


slept ten hours in forty-eight. It was the most try- 
ing day of the war to me, when after what I sup- 
posed was a victory, I saw the enemy break over 
our cavalry and dash in rear of our troops and cut 
and hack away at them. Am truly thankful for my 

Strasburg, September 22d. — Requested Lieut. 
Barnes to telegraph you for fear the report current 
in the rear of my being killed might reach you. It 
w^as a most terrible day. In the beginning we drove 
the enemy and killed many, and could have driven 
them into Harper's Ferry but for the troops on our 
left. Our cavalry first gave way, our infantry were 
flanked, then there was a general fall back. Ram- 
seur has been assigned to this Division and Pegram 
to Ramseur's old command. Gen. Rodes' place can- 
not be supplied. He is a serious loss to the Con- 
federacy. Capts. London, Still and Lieut. Barnes 
are a great loss to me ; their aid was invaluable. 
Lieut. Howard was mortally wounded and fell into 
the hands of the enemy. 

New Market, September 24th. — Have been so 
busy no time to write. Am well and safe aftermost 
fatiguing and dangerous fighting for five days. My 
escapes have been miraculous. 

Camp near Port Republic, September 25th. — We 


have reached a place of safety, after one of the most 
harassing weeks of anxiety ever spent by me, less 
on my own account than that of others. It has 
been fight all day and retreat all night. Am com- 
pletely exhausted. 

|Near Port Republic, Sept. 26th. — A week this 
morning since we left camp on September 19th at 
Stevenson's Depot, when, in less than one hour, en- 
countered the enemy, and, forming line, attacked 
him ; drove some distance, inflicting most terrible 
punishment upon him, and then halted. 

Everything up to 4 o'clock in the afternoon looked 
bright, and promised well for a complete victory. 
The enemy had turned their wagons back to Har- 
per's Ferry about 4 o'clock, then their Cavalry 
charged our Cavalry, which was on the left of our 
Infantry, which gave way in confusion, and their 
forces came down on the left and rear of our column, 
when the troops began to give way in that quarter. 
About which time I received orders to swing back 
and front them from that direction, allowing the 
right of my Brigade to remain stationary. Upon 
coming into the open field, I perceived everything 
to be in the most inextricable confusion — horses 
dashing over the field, cannon being run to the rear 
at the top of the horses' speed, men leaving their 



command, and scattering in confusion. My men 
seeing this state of things began also to show symp- 
toms of alarm, which I in a great measure checked, 
threatening to blow the brains out of the first man 
who left ranks, and succeeded in quieting them down 
and keeping them under control. Then directed my 
attention to arresting the flight of others, and many 
a fellow felt the full weight of my best blows from 
my sword. During this time the Yankee Cavalry 
was dashing among them, cutting and hewing right 
and left. We then attempted to fall back slowly, 
confronting them and fighting every inch of the 
ground which was done through to Winchester and 
some four miles south of that point. The ladies of 
Winchester came out in the streets when the stam- 
pede first began and formed across the streets and 
entreated the stragglers to return, but without suc- 
cess. I have already told you about having my 
horse killed under me, and my escapes from death" 
on that day appeared marvelous, for from ten o'clock 
in the morning until after eight at night, I was in 
the thickest of the fight. Capt. London, poor fel- 
low, was shot, and caught by me as he fell. Capt. 
Foster the same day was killed. That night we 
marched until about 2 o'clock when we lay down 
and slept until about 4, at which time we were again 


on the road and reached Strasburg about 12 M. on 
Tuesday, cooked up rations, and slept off our fatigue 
of the previous twenty-four hours. I have never 
exerted myself so much in my life and my voice was 
completely gone ; could scarcely speak above a 
whisper. I was as sore as a boil all over, and had 
to have Polk (his body servant) to rub me over with 
liniment. On Wednesday we erected breastworks, 
and prepared for the advance of the enemy, and 
felt very secure of holding the position of the com- 
mand in front. Were busily engaged day and night 
up to about one o'clock Thursday the 22d, when 
they attacked our skirmishers and drove them in ; 
did not attack the line of battle. About 3 o'clock 
we perceived two columns moving up the side of 
the mountain to our left, when the cavalry was 
again fronted. I then urged upon Ramseur, who 
commanded our Division, to send a Brigade or 
two over to their assistance, knowing that the cav- 
alry would run if attacked, but he declined to do so 
until he could communicate with Gen. Early, and 
then sent Cox's Brigade, but alas ! it was too late. 
During that hour I suffered more than I've ever 
done in my life. My anxiety for the fate of the 
army was intolerable. I deployed three of my regi- 
ments to protect my flank in case of an attack, 



which about 4 o'clock came Hke an avalanche. The 
cavalry breaking, my skirmish line presented but a 
feeble resistance. The enemy attacked me on my 
left flank, front and rear at the same time. I re- 
mained, fought until Ramseur came up and told me 
to save my Brigade if possible. The colors of the 
United States troops were then in less than a hun- 
dred yards of me. I moved off by my right flank, 
firing to the front and left as I marched. Thinking 
that we were going to fight in the trenches, had sent 
my horse to a hollow for protection. A while before 
this time I had fallen in walking down the trenches 
and sprained my ankle, and was unable to hobble 
along but very slowly. Through mistake my horse 
had been carried from the place that I had ordered 
him, and I found myself afoot when I ordered the 
troops to leave. As we marched by the flank we 
were firing to the right, left and rear. Upon at- 
tempting to put my men in position in line, I found 
it almost an impossibility, on account of the near- 
ness of the enemy, and that I would be left behind 
to fall into the hands of the Yankees. Just then a 
cannon ball cut down two horses in a caisson, and 
the drivers were engaged in getting the others loose 
from their harness. Two were loosened and the 
drivers had mounted them before I could get up, 



and others were cutting out the other two. To 
procure one of these horses was a matter of life and 
death with me, and while one of these artillerymen 
was cutting away, I vaulted into the saddle and told 
him to hurry up, that I must have that horse. He 
didn't take time to parley with me, but ran off, 
leaving the horse still fastened by one trace to the 
horse that had been killed, and I out with my knife 
and began to cut away, when another driver who had 
by this time disentangled his horse, loosened this 
trace for me, and I put spurs to my horse, and the 
Yankees then not over fifty yards from me, and I 
had an open field of two hundred yards to run the 
gauntlet through, and but few other objects in view 
for them to shoot at. My escape was almost miracu- 
lous. On my way I found Col. Winston broken 
down and took him behind me. Overtook my 
troops and formed into line, made several short 
stands, but the troops on all sides were too much 
demoralized to make a successful fight, and it was 
fall back all the time, and I was carried along in the 
current only by order when I found no support. 
This state of thing continued up to nine o'clock 
that night, when we finally checked the enemy, and 
travelled all night long until we reached Mt. Jack- 
son, where rested several hours forming line of bat- 



tie, and then kept the enemy in check until dark, 
when we continued our retreat to Rudes' Hill, near 
New Market, and about 9 o'clock next morning the 
enemy again began to press. We remained until 
12 o'clock, wdien we found that they were flanking 
us in the same manner that they had done on the 
two previous occasions, and Gen. Early then began 
to withdraw us in line of battle, which was very 
successfully done until about night, w^hen we with- 
drew to Brown's Gap and Port Republic, the place 
of one of Jackson's great victories. Here we were 
called upon next day to go out and drive off their 
cavalry, which we did, inflicting considerable loss 
upon them. 

Weir's Cave, September 28th. — Moved around a 
good deal yesterday, but halted for the night near 
where we started in the morning, except we were on 
the north side of the Shenandoah. Reported the 
enemy are falling back to the Potomac. 

Waynesboro, September 29th. — Yesterday had a 
most disagreeable march, not arriving in camp until 
four o'clock this morning, travelling all night in the 
rear of a wagon train to protect it from Yankee 
cavalry, who were threatening on all sides. Troops 
beginning to recover from effects of last week's mis- 


fortunes ; in tolerable fighting trim, and anxious to 
retrieve their lost reputation. 

Waynesboro, October ist, 1864. — Yesterday was 
a day of rest very essential to our comfort, for our 
energies were about exhausted. The enemy are re- 
ported to be falling back down the Valley, which I 
hope is so, unless we had an opportunity of thrash- 
ing him. 

Mount Sydney, October 2nd. — Nothing of in- 

Mount Sydney, October 3rd. — The enemy slowdy 
retiring and we follow^ing him up, but Early will 
profit by past experience and not risk too much. 

^ Mount Sydney, October 4th, 1864. — Another day 
of rest and what was quite as much needed, a good 
dinner. The gentleman with whom we dined was 
ransomed by his wife and daughters paying all their 
jewelry and silver, and the house redeemed by pay- 
ment of $40 in gold. Enemy near Harrisburg few 
miles from here. 

Mount Sydney, October 6th.— This is our fourth 
day of rest, and have made use of it to recruit my 
exhausted energies. Have been drilling my men, for 
I know the necessity of drilling and discipline to 
make good soldiers, as I am anxious that those 
under my command should be. 


Harrisonburg, October 7th. — Again on the march 
following the enemy. 

Camp near New Market, October 9th. — It is 
probable we will remain in our present position for 
some time. Enemy been driven below Strasburg, 
and as they destroyed everything on their retreat, 
we have not the wherewithal to subsist our army on. 
Country a perfect desolation. All stock and pro- 
visions destroyed. 

New Market, October loth. — Ordered down the 
turnpike to meet the enemy. Having gone four 
miles, were ordered to return to camp. 

New Market, October i ith. — Just received orders 
to cook two days' rations and be ready to move at 
sunrise in the morning. 

Near Woodstock, October 13th. — Are moving 
towards Strasburg. Enemy reported as lower down 
the Valley. 

Near Strasburg, October 14th. — Yesterday after- 
noon attacked the enemy, gained quite a little 

Near Strasburg, Oct. 15th.— Stationary. Nothing 
of importance. 

Near Strasburg, Oct. i6th. — Enemy quiet on other 
side Cedar Creek. 

Near Strasburg, Oct. 17th. — Yesterday reported to 


Gen. Rosser (Cavalry General). About dark mounted 
my men behind his, took a by-path over the moun- 
tains, over the most rugged roads I ever travelled. 
About 3 o'clock came up in rear of Yankee camp. 
Dismounting my men, prepared to charge them. We 
had been informed a Cavalry Division were en- 
camped at this place, but found only forty men, 
every one of whom we captured with their horses. 
Had a pleasant time. 

Near Strasburg, Oct. 1 8th.— Enemy remarkably 

New Market, Oct. 20th.— Yesterday morning, 
after marching all night, flanked the enemy in their 
position, whipping them badly, and driving them 
from their breastworks, capturing twenty-odd pieces 
of artillery, driving them several miles. Our left 
wing shamefully gave way, which necessitated the 
drawing in of our lines, which was done in consider- 
able confusion. At that time the Yankee Cavalry 
charged and completely routed our men. It was 
impossible to check the flight, officers and men be- 
having shamefully. Twice the Yankees got between 
me and the route I had to travel, which rendered it 
necessary for me to take the woods to avoid capture. 
About seven o'clock arrived at a place on Fisher's 
Hill, where we halted to endeavor to gather up the 


stragglers and rearrange our troops. After resting 
a few hours, fell back to this place. It was the 
hardest day's work I ever engaged in — trying to rally 
the men. Took our flags at different times, beg. 
ging, commanding, entreating the men to rally — 
would ride up and down the lines, beseeching them 
by all they held sacred and dear, to stop and fight, 
but without any success. I don't mean my Brigade 
only, but all. The demoralization was too great. 
All my exertions were of no avail. I was riding a 
horse that I captured in our night attack upon the 
cavalry which I mention in my letter of last Monday, 
and had him killed by a shell early in the engage- 
ment, while on his back, the shell not missing my 
leg two inches. Afterwards found a horse on the 
field, rode him the remainder of the day. He also 
was struck, but not much hurt. Had a ball to strike 
me on the leg, but so slightly that the blow was 
scarcely perceptible, the ball having expended its 
force. General Ramseur was wounded mortally, and 
fell into the hands of the enemy. General Battle, 
of Alabama, severely wounded. The only salvation 
for this army and the country will be to inflict severe 
punishment on all who fail to discharge their duty. 
There will be a general Court Martial this afternoon, 
and all delinquents will be tried. 


Camp near New Market, Oct. 22d. — I am now in 
command of Rodes' old Division — very busily en- 
gaged all my time in correcting abuses that have crept 
into the department during the long and arduous 
campaign — inspecting camp, attending drills, and 
hope if we are allowed a few weeks to discipline these 
troops, to have them as good and efficient as they 
were in their best days. 

New Market, Oct. 23rd, 24th and 25th.— Still 
quiet. Busily engaged re-organizing. 

October 26th. — Enemy quiet for the present. 
Don't know how long it will last. Have no idea 
when we will go into winter quarters. 

New Market, Oct. 27th to 31st. — Employed in 
drilling and disciplining troops. All have the great- 
est confidence in General Early. No blame can be 
attached to him for our failures. Simply want of 
discipline among the troops. 

(Report of the part taken by Rodes' Division in the action of Octo- 
ber 19th, 1864. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division, October 31st, 1864. 
Capt. Sam'l J. C. Moore, a. a. G.: 

Captain : In obedience to orders from Corps 
Headquarters, I have the honor of submitting the 


following report as the part taken by Rodes' Divis- 
ion in the action on the 19th October, 1864 : 

About dark on the evening of the i8th the Di- 
vision moved from camps on Fisher's Hill and was 
halted for an hour or more near the pike, in order 
that Maj,-Gen. Gordon in command of the force, 
who was to move to the enemy's rear, could commu- 
nicate with Lieut.-Gen. Early. 

This halt was caused, as I unofficially learned, in 
consequence of information received that the enemy 
were fortifying that evening on their left flank. 
About 8 P, M. the march was resumed and after 
passing the stone bridge filed to the right and passed 
by a circuitous route around the base of Fort Moun- 
tain, by a blind path, where the troops had to march 
in single file. The order of March was Gordon, 
Rodes, Pegram. Upon reaching the Shenandoah, 
where crossed by the Manassas Gap Railroad, the 
column was halted and massed for the rear to close 
up. So soon as this was done, about i A. M., we 
again moved forward, following the track of the 
railroad until near Bucktown Station, where we 
again halted for an hour and a half waiting the ar- 
rival of the cavalry, who crossed the river in advance 
and drove in the enemy's pickets. 

About four and half A. M. the infantry com- 


menced crossing the Shenandoah near Col. Bow- 
man's house in two columns. The passage was 
effected with great rapidity and in good order though 
the rear necessarily had to doublequick for some dis- 
tance to close up. The order of march was as fol- 
lows : Battle, Cook, Cox, Grimes. On arriving within 
a half a mile of the Valley Pike, Battle's Brigade 
was formed parallel with the same, and moved for- 
ward in line of battle. The other Brigades con- 
tinued moving by the flank for about three hundred 
yards, when they were faced to the left and ordered 
forward changing direction to the right. Battle soon 
struck the Eighth Corps of the enemy, and charging, 
gallantly drove them in great confusion but was 
himself seriously wounded whilst nobly leading his 
Brigade, the command of which then devolved on 
Lieut.-Col. Robeson, 5th Alabama. Cook and Cox 
continued to advance, swinging to the right, driving 
the enemy in their front with but slight resistance 
for upward of half a mile, when Gen. Cox reporting 
that he was flanked on the left, a temporary halt 
was made until reinforcements were sent forward, 
when these two Brigades again advanced, Cook 
capturing several cannon, caissons, ammunition, 
wagons, &c. 

This movement left a wide interval between 


Cook's right and Battle's left, which was subse- 
quently filled by Pegram's Division. In the mean- 
time Grimes' Brigade was recalled from the left and 
moved by the right flank through the abandoned 
camp of the Eighth Corps, which had been com- 
pletely routed, faced to the front, and advanced to 
the pike, connecting with Battle's right. This 
formation was perfected about sunrise. 

The enemy being then in position on a small 
creek to the left of the Pike, with their artillery on 
a high ridge in their rear, and firing into our line of 
battle, but the smoke and fog obscured the troops 
so that their fire was inaccurate. Here Major-Gen. 
Ramseur had skirmishers thrown to the front and 
to the right driving the sharpshooters of the enemy 
from Middletown. The Division remained here per- 
haps half an hour, until a battery was brought into 
position on the right of the Pike, when Gen. Ram- 
seur again ordered an advance, which was made in 
good order, and with a gallantry never exceeded. 
In this advance Battle's Brigade charged a battery 
in its front, capturing in addition to six guns many 
prisoners and a flag. The Sixth Corps was found 
posted on a hill in rear of this battery, and iTfade a 
most stubborn resistance. Grimes' Brigade was or- 
dered forward and charged them most gallantly, but 


being greatly overlapped on both flanks was forced 
to fall back and reform after advancing as far as the 
cemetery. At this time there was an interval of 
three hundred yards between this and Battle's 
Brigade. Colonel Smith's Brigade of Wharton's 
Division was now brought into action on Grimes' 
right and charged the same wooded hill, but was 
likewise repulsed, when Wofford's Brigade of Ker- 
shaw's Division, which had been ordered to report 
to Major-Gen. Ramseur, arrived on the ground and 
was posted behind a stone fence to the right of 
Grimes, it not being thought advisable to move 
against the strong position of the enemy. 

The artillery was at this time, about 8 A. M., 
massed on the hills near the Pike and the infantry 
remained quiet until by a concentrated fire from the 
artillery the Sixth Corps was dislodged from its po- 
sition, where they had erected temporary breast- 
works of rails, stones, &c. Upon this hill the Divis- 
ion was reformed, cartridge boxes refilled and rested 
upwards of an hour. During this time skirmishers 
were advanced and found that the enemy had again 
made a stand at the edge of the woods, about three 
fourths of a mile in advance. We then moved for- 
ward and joined our left to Kershaw's right, halting 
in the road leading from Middletown and at right 



angles to the Pike. Here again we halted perhaps 
for an hour, and then moved forward in echelon by 
Brigade from the left, which was occupied by Cook 
with Cox's Brigade in reserve, and took position be- 
hind a stone fence. During this time the enemy 
were firing from their artillery, engaging ours on the 
hills in our rear. Our skirmishers all the while were 
engaged with those of the enemy and who had 
driven in our left, but they in turn were repulsed by 
our line of battle. In this position Grimes' Brigade 
was about one hundred yards to the right and rear 
of Battle's with an interval of from two to three 
hundred yards between his right and Pegram's left. 
At half past three P. M. our skirmishers were driven 
in and the enemy advanced their line of battle. 
Grimes' Brigade was "doublequicked " upon the line 
with Battle to meet this advance on the part of the 
enemy, and Cox moved up on a line with Cook and 
to his left, which advance was repulsed most gal- 
lantly, the enemy fleeing in disorder and confusion, 
throwing down their arms and battle flags in their 
retreat. The musketry on our left still continued 
to increase and at the time our troops were cheering 
for this repulse of the enemy, the line on our left 
was seen to give back, and the troops to retreat 
without any organization. Gen. Ramseur then or- 


dered the different Brigades of this Division to fall 
back and form on a stone fence about two hundred 
yards in rear, which was promptly done, and the ad- 
vance of the enemy in our front prevented. While 
holding this position, the gallant and chivalrous 
Gen. Ramseur was mortally wounded and brought 
from the field. The troops on the left had by this 
time entirely given way, and were running to the 
rear in great confusion. The enemy were then in 
front and to the left and rear of the left flank of 
this Division, when they began to fall back in the 
same disorderly manner as those on the left. 

Our organization up to this time was intact. 
Upon the order being given to retire, did so, but the 
stampede on left was caught up, and no threats or 
entreaties could arrest their flight. Great and re- 
peated exertions were made by the officers of the 
higher ranks to check the men, but all their exer- 
tions were unavailing. 

Upon reaching the south side of Cedar Creek, a 
few, perhaps to the number of two hundred, from 
Cook's and Grimes' Brigades, formed on the right 
of the Pike near Hupp Hill, but when the stream of 
stragglers came running over the hill, with the cry 
that the cavalry were across the creek, and prepared 
to charge, these few likewise scattered, and could 


not be kept together. Up to the hour of 4 P. M. 
the troops of this Division, both officers and men, 
with a few exceptions, behaved most admirably, and 
were kept well in hand, but little plundering, and 
only a few shirking their duty. After that hour, all 
was confusion and disorder. The Brigade com- 
manders conducted themselves, each and all, with 
great coolness and judgment, and are deserving of 
especial mention, using all possible efforts to check 
their troops, but without success. 

The death of the brave and heroic soldier, Gen- / 
eral Ramseur, is not only a loss to this Division, but 
to his State and the country at large. No truer or 
nobler spirit has been sacrificed in this unjust and 
unholy war. 

The conduct of the officers composing the staff 
of this Division cannot be too highly lauded for 
their gallantry and efficiency: Major Peyton for the 
coolness and promptness with which he conveyed 
orders on the field ; Major Hutchinson for his effi- 
ciency, who was captured, escaped from the enemy, 
and again captured late in the evening; Captain 
Randolph displayed his usual daring ; Major Whi- 
ting, Inspector, rendered signal services by prevent- 
ing all straggling and plundering; and Lieut. Rich- 



mond, A. D. C, for his assistance and alacrity in 
transmitting orders. 

For the conduct of others who deserve especial 
mention, you are respectfully referred to reports of 
Brigade commanders herewith transmitted. 
I am, Captain, 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) Bryan Grimes, 

Brig. Gen. Covwiand'g Division. 

(Further Extracts from Letters to his Wife.) 

Near New Market, November ist, 1864. — The 
duties of camp are suspended to-day for the purpose 
of commemorating our respect and attachment for 
our two late commanders, Rodes and Ramseur. I 
could not participate in the meeting, owing to a sum- 
mons from General Early to meet all Division Com- 
manders, which detained me six hours. 

Camp near New Market, November 2d to 4th. — 
I am still here. Jt has rained incessantly for two 
days. Am busy re-organizing Rodes' Division, which 
I still command. 

New Market, November 5th. — No news from the 
enemy. They are still near Strasburg. Our move- 


ments depend on theirs. If they reinforce Grant, 
we will demonstrate in order to draw them back. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division, November 6th. — 
Yesterday moved camp to present position, where 
we have abundance of wood and water. The moun- 
tains are covered with snow this morning — very hard 
on barefooted and half naked men. 

November 7th. — Weather continues bad. 

November 8th and 9th. — Still at New Market. 
Yesterday at Early's Headquarters learned the enemy 
had 36,000 effective men for the field. More than 
three times our number. At recent fights they must 
have had at least five to one. If not for their cav- 
alry, we could soon drive their infantry out of the 
Valley. When the history of the war is written, and 
the disparity of the forces engaged is considered, we 
will come out with honor; and if justice is done, it 
will be shown that we have done our duty. 

Learned that after election in the United States, 
that their troops would be moved to some other 
quarter. They are still fortifying Winchester. 

Camp near New Market, November loth. — We 
leave here to-day to demonstrate against the enemy, 
to cause to return with their troops to prevent rein- 
forcement of Grant. If we accomplish that, it will 
be all that can be expected of us. 


November I2th. — Have again advanced, and are 
between Middletown and Winchester. Enemy fall- 
ing back — don't seem disposed to fight. 

November 13th. — We found the enemy, and 
General Early having accomplished his purpose, re- 
tired last night, and are on our way to our old camp. 
November 14th. — Have just reached our old camp. 
Too tired to write. In five days have been eating 
both meals at night — one before day in the morning, 
the other after dark. 

November 15th to 19th. — Still at New Market. 
Weather bitterly cold. 

November 20th to 22d. — Weather still continues 
bad, but with a good chimney to my tent keep tol- 
erably comfortable. General Early does not speak 
of going into winter quarters. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division, near New Market, 
November 23d. — Yesterday morning just before day 
Gen. Early sent me word that the enemy were ad- 
vancing and to take my command out to meet them. 
The ground was covered with snow but in half an 
hour v/e were under arms and on the w^ay to meet 
them. After going about seven miles down the 
turnpike to Rudes' Hill found that our cavalry had 
been driven through Mount Jackson and the enemy 

had crossed the north fork of the Shenandoah and 


were advancing rapidly. I rode forward, recon- 
noitered, p«ut my men in position and attacked them. 
There were about 4000 of them, all cavalry. When 
we struck them they made a bold stand and at- 
tempted to charge, but we pressed the shot into 
them so steadily and rapidly that they could not 
stand it, and began to retreat in disorder, which I 
pressed all the harder, and drove them five miles, 
routing them every time they attempted to make a 
stand. My men were pretty well used up with 
fatigue when I discontinued the pursuit and re- 
turned to camp cold, hungry, and broken down after 
my men had marched and waded twenty-four miles. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division, November 24th 
and 28th. — We are here with the thermometer down 
to about 20 deg. and the coldest nights imaginable. 
Hope we will go into winter quarters soon. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division. — Yesterday had 
a long ride and returned after dark, but feel that I 
will here accomplish a good thing if the Yankee 
cavalry venture another reconnoissance to find out 
where we are. Our object is to get in their rear and 
cut off all * ^ ^ and as there will be but 
one ford to the river by which they can rejoin their 
command, and all arrangements are made to get 
possession of that ford by taking a circuitous route 


with our Division while the others demonstrate in 
front. But if they don't advance in ten days, we 
will miss an opportunity to inflict a severe blow upon 
their cavalry. Provisions and forage are very scarce. 
Some of our troops have had unground corn issued 
to them. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division, November 30th.— r 
Everything quiet with only a rumor that Gen. 
Rosser had whipped the enemy at Moorefield. 
When he returns, it is thought we will go into win- 
ter quarters. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division, December 2d. — 
Gen. Rosser's success was quite brilliant, destroying 
two bridges, two hundred wagons, nine locomotive 
engines, besides immense amount of quartermaster's 
and commissary stores, and capturing nine pieces of 
artillery, 500 prisoners, 1000 horses and mules, and 
several hundred beef cattle. This is the expedition 
I wrote you about in former letter. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division, near New Market, 
December 2d. — I think it probable that we will reach 
the point at which we are to winter about the loth 
of this month. 

December 4th. — Still at New Market. 

December 6th. — We are again disappointed in 
receiving no orders to prepare for winter quarters. 



All manner of conjectures are rife. I think Gen. 
Early is actuated simply and solely by what he con- 
siders the good of the service, and is awaiting defi- 
nite information as to the intention of the enemy, 
and contrary as it would be to my wishes, if we 
could accomplish any commensurate good, would be 
willing again to go down the Valley and attack 
Sheridan, and if necessary stay there, although it 
would interfere with my long cherished desire to 
spend a quiet winter, but in my present position the 
public interest is to be considered before private 
preference, and the higher a man rises in the mili- 
tary service the fewer privileges can he enjoy, for 
he cannot ask indulgence when he feels the good of 
the country will be jeopardized, and as I am now 
commanding a Division, will have to remain here 
until some one else comes to fill the place. 

Near New Market, December 8th. — Two of our 
Divisions, Gordon's and Pegram's, left yesterday. I 
presume some important move is on hand. The 
enemy have sent one of their Corps from our front. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division, December loth. — 
This morning the whole surface of the earth is cov- 
ered with snow two inches deep. 

Near New Market, December 13th. — Have or- 


ders to proceed to Richmond to-morrow morning — 
expect to reach there Friday or Saturday. 

Richmond, December i6th. — Arrived here early 
this morning, and am awaiting orders from Gen. 

Headquarters Rodes' Division, near Petersburg, 
Dec. 1 8th. — We have arrived at our destination, 
and are located about three miles from Petersburg, 
and hope to-day to be able to make arrangements 
for the winter. 

Headquarters Army Northern Virginia, 29th Dec, 1864. 
CiraUar {Confidential^ 

General : I desire that you will avail yourself 
of the present period of inactivity to re-organize and 
recruit the troops in your command as far as prac- 

Ascertain what regiments, if any, it would be ad- 
vantageous to consolidate, and how such vacancies 
as may exist among the officers can best be filled. 
In every case in which you may think the officer to 
be promoted unsuitable for the new grade, you will 
forward a report as to his qualifications, in order that 
he may be brought before an examining board. 

The difficulty of filling vacancies properly during 
active operations, and the importance of habituating 



the officers, who are to be promoted, to the duties 
of their new positions, render it proper that there 
should be no delay. 

Very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) R. E. Lee, GciiL 

Official : 

V. Dabney, a. a. Gcnl. 
Brig. Gen. Grimes, CommamV g Division. 

6th January, 1S65 

Gen. Grimes: 

General Pickett has been directed to send one 
Brigade to the north side. This thins his line some- 
what. You may have to move up to support him. 
He has been informed that should occasion require 
that he should have assistance, and should he re- 
quest it of you, that you would be instructed to 
move up at once without waiting for orders from 
here. Please govern your action accordingly. 
By order of Gen. Lee : 

(Signed) W. H. Taylor, 

A. A, G. 
Brig. Gen. Grimes, Comniand'g Division. 


Headquarters Pickett's Division, Jan. 7th, 1865. 

General : 

General Pickett has just received a telegram from 
General Lee stating that a Brigade from your Di- 
vision has been ordered to relieve our right Brigade 
(Tovey's) early in the morning, so as to enable it to 
occupy the line formerly held by General Corse. 
The General desires me to say to you that great 
caution would have to be observed to prevent the 
movement of the troops from being seen from " the 
Tower;" that it will probably be best to delay re- 
lieving the picket until after dark to-morrow night. 
He advises that you send as large a Brigade as pos- 
sible, as General Tovey's line at present covers a 
great deal of ground. He suggests also that the 
officer who relieves this Brigade had better see Col- 
onel Florivree, who is in command at this time, as 
early as possible in the morning, to make such ar- 
rangements as will most effectually secure the move- 
ments of the men from being observed by the enemy. 
I am. General, 

Very respectfully, 

(Signed) E. R. Baird, A. B.C. 

To Brig. Gen. B. Grimes, Cojiimand'g Division. 

q6 extracts of letters of • 

Headquarters A. N. Va., Jan. 7th. 1865. 

General : 

General Lee bids me say that he wishes you to- 
morrow morning to move one of your Brigades to 
the position now occupied by General Pickett's right 
Brigade on the Bermuda Hundreds line. 

His object is to relieve that Brigade, so that it 
can be moved to another point. You will find com- 
fortable huts on the line, which the Brigade will oc- 
cupy. In all military operations the commanding 
officer of the Brigade will report to General Pickett 
while on his line. General Gordon has been notified 
of this order. 

I am, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) C. S. Venable, 

Lieut. Col. & A. D.C. 
Brig. Gen. Bryan Grimes, Coniuiand'g Division. 

Headquarters Army Northern Virgiania, 30th Jan., 1S65. 
Brig.-Gen. Bryan Grimes, Conujianding Division : 

General: The General Commanding desires 
you to have your Division prepared to move promptly 
in the morning should you receive orders to that 


Have everything in readiness to move without 

It may be necessary to send you to the north 
side of the James river. 

Very respectfully, 
(Signed,) W. H. Taylor, A. A. G. 

II P. M., 5th February, 1S65. 

Gen. Grimes : 

The enemy's cavalry have not passed beyond 
Dinwiddie C. H. They advanced to that point and 
then retired. 

The General says you need not go up the road. 
He wishes you to remain where you are, or near, 
any where near it. Your men can be made com- 
fortable for the night. If they cannot be made 
comfortable, you will move down the Boydton plank- 
road until you can get to some wood. If you move, 
report your location when you halt. 
(Signed,) W. H. Taylor, A. A. G. 

Headquarters Second Corps, Feb. 15th, 7 o'clock P. M. 

Colonel: The note from Gen. Ransom's Head- 
quarters in relation to movement of troops is re- 
ceived. If there is an accumulation of force on 
this flank by the enemy with a view to serious move 



against the S. S. R. R. this weather may delay it, 
but I should be glad to have Grimes' Division keep 
in readiness to join me should the Commanding 
General think proper to have him report to me in 
case of a battle. 

I am, Colonel, 

Very respectfully, 
(Signed,) J. B. GORDON, 

Major- General Coniinanding. 
To Col. Taylor, A. A. G. 

[Endorsed as follows.] 

Gex. Grimes : 

A movement of trains loaded with troops to the 

enemy's left was reported this evening, and you had 

better keep your Division prepared to move. Though 

it may not be necessary, it is advisable to be ready. 

Very respectfully, 

VV. H. Taylor, A. A. G. 

15th February, 1865. 

[Further extracts from letters to his wife.] 

February 15th. — Remained in camp near Peters- 
burg until about the middle of the month. Request 
from Gen. Gordon to have Grimes' Division report 
to him in case of battle. Received my commission 
as Major-General 15th February, 1865. 


Sutherland Depot, February 24th, 12 miles from 
Petersburg. — Left camp and came here as there 
was a prospect of a fight, but the heavy rains have 
delayed it. 

February 28th. — Still at Sutherland's Depot. In 
accepting the appointment of Major-General, I hope 
I shall never bring discredit upon myself. The 
higher the position the more there is expected, and 
like all others who have done their duty in this war, 
have made enemies, but care little for them, pro- 
vided I can perform my duties satisfactorily to my 
superior ofificers and for the good of the country. 

Sutherland's Depot, March ist. — Have been 
riding all day in order to learn the different roads in 
the surrounding country, and laying off new ones to 
enable me to move with rapidity to any point when 
my services may be required. 

Sutherland's, March 2d. — Nothing of interest. 
Still stuck in the mud. 

March 3d and 5th. — Roads still in such bad con- 
dition that they are almost impassable. 

March 7th and 8th.— Still at Sutherland's. Had 
a serenade last night — the only thing to break the 
monotony. Weather still continues bad. 

March 9th.— Still quiet. 

March loth. — This is the day set apart by the 


President for thanksgiving and prayer, but the 
weather is so bad no service can be held out of 

March 12th. — Am worn out from fatigue and 
want of sleep. Received orders at 2 A. M. to leave 
for Dunlap's before daylight. At 4 A. M. began the 
march and upon nearly reaching the pontoon, re- 
ceived another dispatch countermanding the order. 
There was a rumor that Sheridan's raiders were 
moving on Richmond, and that caused the move. 

Petersburg, March 14th, 1865. — Yesterday re- 
ceived orders to come to Petersburg and relieve 
Bushrod Johnson's Division, which I did, completing 
my march about 12 o'clock last night. Suffered ter- 
ribly from sick nervous headache, attributed to a 
glass of wine I took at General Lee's, who noticed 
that I looked pale and fatigued, and recommended 
a glass of wine, and as this was something very un- 
usual with him, concluded I would take it, and suf- 
fered in consequence. 

This morning was up early examining everything 
on my line. Went to each picket post, and at some 
points so close you could almost see the whites of 
the Yankees' eyes. The Yankee lines are in full 
view, and at night there is constant firing between 
the pickets. 


March i6th, 17th, 22d, 25th, Petersburg. — Tele- 
graphed this morning of my welfare. This morning 
we charged the enemy's works and captured them, 
taking twelve to fifteen pieces of artillery, and a 
good many prisoners, but after taking their works 
they concentrated a large number of cannon upon 
us, besides several times our number of infantry and 
we were obliged to succumb after fighting two and 
a half hours, and retire to our breastworks. My 
loss was heavy, being 478 officers and men. Lieut. 
Barnes wounded. As usual I captured a horse to 
ride during the fight, as I could not get mine over 
the breastworks. It would have done your heart 
good to hear the men cheer as I rode up and down 
the line urging them to do their duty, but would to 
heaven this carnage was over and I permitted to re- 
tire from such scenes and live a quiet and domestic 

Petersburg, March 27th. — Am well, trust you 
did not hear the report of my being killed. When 
Gen. Gordon saw me, he seemed very much sur- 
prised. Said he had just sent a flag of truce to re- 
cover my body, but I was pleased to know I had 
brought myself off safe. 

March 28th.— Still at Petersburg. 

March 29th, Petersburg. — Lieut. Barnes is doing 



remarkably well. Gen. Cook had his arm badly 
broken and fears are entertained that it will have to 
be amputated. 

March — . Our troops were to attack the enemy 
this morning at Burgen's Mills, and I trust that they 
may whip them. For once I am out of it, and not 
among the attacking party. 


War Department, 
Richmond, June i, 1864. 


You are hereby informed that the President, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate, has 
appointed you 


In the Provisional Army in the service of the Con- 
federate States, to rank as such from the NINE- 
TEENTH day of MAY, one thousand eight hun- 
dred and sixty-four. 

Immediately on receipt hereof please to commu- 
nicate to this Department, through the Adjutant 
and Inspector General's office, your acceptance or 
non-acceptance of said appointment, and with your 
letter of acceptance return to the Adjutant and In- 
spector General the OATH herewith enclosed, prop- 
erly filled up, subscribed and attested, reporting at 
the same time your Age, Residence, when appointed, 
and the State in which you were Born. 

Should you accept, you will report for duty to 
Gen. R. E. Lee, to command late Daniel's Brigade, 

James A. Seddon, 
Secretary of War. 

Brig. Gen. Bryan Grimes, Covid 'g, &c., RA.C. S. 



Department Norther:; Virginia. 

Special Order ) 

No. ~. ( 

III. Brigadier-General Bryan Grimes is assigned 
to the command of Daniel's old Brigade, Rodes' 
Division, 2nd Army Corps. 

By command of Gen. R. E. Lee: 

W. H, Taylor, A, A. GouraL 
Brig. Gen. Grimes, Comuiand' g, Sxc. 



War Department, 
Richmond, February 23d, 1865. 

You are hereby informed that the President, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate, has 
appointed you 

In the Provisional Army in the service of the Con- 
federate States, to rank as such from the Fifteenth 
day of February, one thousand eight hundred and 

Immediately on receipt hereof please to commu- 
nicate to this Department through the Adjutant and 
Inspector General's office your acceptance or non- 
acceptance of said appointment, and with your let- 
ter of acceptance return to the Adjutant and In- 
spector General the OATH, herewith enclosed, prop- 
erly filled up, subscribed and attested, reporting at 
the same time your Age, Residence, when appointed, 
and the State in which you were Born. 

Should you accept, you will report for duty to 
Gen. R. E. Lee to command the late Gen. Rodes' 
Division A. N. V. 

John C. Breckenridge, 

Secretary of War. 
Major-Gen. Bryan Grimes, P. A. C. S. 


Department Northern Virginia. 

Special Order ) 

No. 55. ) 

XV. Major-General Bryan Grimes, P. A. C. S., is 
hereby assigned to the command of Rodes' old 
Division, 2nd Corps, and will report accordingly. 

By command of Gen. R. E. Lee : 

W. H. Taylor, A. A. General. 
To Maj. Gen. Bryan Grimes, Cojuuiand^ g, &c. 
Through Gen. GORDON. 


Near Washington, N. C, Nov. 5th, 1879. 

Major Jno. W. Moore, 

Dear Sir : In compliance with your request, I 
herewith transmit my recollections of the circum- 
stances attending the last days of the existence of 
the Army of Northern Virginia, embracing several 
days previous to the final surrender at Appomattox 
Court House. 

On the night of Saturday, April i, 1865, my Di- 
vision occupied a portion of the defences around 
the city of Petersburg, my left resting on Otey's 
Battery, near the memorable Crater, my right ex- 
tending to the dam on a creek beyond Battery 45, 
Ramseur's old Brigade of North Carolinians being 
commanded by Col. W. R. Cox, 2nd North Carolina, 
holding appointment as temporary Brigadier ; on their 
right Archer's Brigade of Virginia Junior Reserves, 
Grimes' old Brigade of North Carolinians, com- 
manded by Col. D. G. Cowand, of the 32d North Caro- 
lina, Battle's Brigade of Alabamians, commanded by 
Col. Hobson of 5th Alabama, Cook's Brigade of 
Georgians commanded by Col. Nash, extending to 
the left in the order above named, numbering for 
duty about 2,200 muskets, covering at least three and 
a half miles of the trenches around Petersburg, with 
one third of my men constantly on picket duty in 


our front, one third kept awake at the breastworks 
during the night, with one third only off duty at a 
time, and they required ahvays to sleep with their 
accoutrements on and upon their arms, ready to re- 
pel an attack ^t a moment's warning. 

About 10 o'clock on the night of April i, 1865, 
the cannonading from the artillery and mortars in 
my front became unusually severe, and at about 1 1 
o'clock the Federals charged, capturing my picket 
line, which consisted of pits dug in the earth for 
protection from sharp shooters, and occupied by my 
soldiers varying in distance from 150 to 300 yards in 
front of our main breastworks. I took measures 
immediately to re-establish this line, v/hich was suc- 
cessfully accomplished, and our pits re-occupied. 
About daylight of the 2nd the enemy again drove 
in our pickets and charged Rune's salient at the 
point where Battle's Brigade w^as posted, carrying 
the works for a few hundred yards on each side of 
that point, doubling and throwing Cook's Brigade 
back a short distance. I hurried the commands of 
Cols. Cowand and Archer to the point of attack as 
rapidly as possible, charging the enemy who were 
in possession of and protected by our traverses and 
bomb proops (which w^ere erected to prevent our 
line being enfiladed, and also as a place of refuge 



from their perpendicular mortar fire), and continued 
gradually to regain traverse after traverse of our 
captured works. 

I then secured four pieces of artillery which were 
placed in our second line of works, whose services 
were invaluable in checking the advance of the 
enemy, thus confining them by grape and canister 
to this particular point at the salient, preventing 
their advancing to attack our lines in flank or rear ; 
Cook and Battle holding them in check on the left, 
and Cowand and Archer on the right of the cap- 
tured works, their only point of egress being exposed 
to the fire of the artillery. 

I regret my inability to recall the names and 
thus give honorable mention to those gallant artil- 
lerists who rendered me such effective service. 

During the forenoon Brigade, under com- 
mand of Col. , reported to me for duty and 

were placed near the artillery in this second line 
of earthworks (w^iich had been constructed to 
fall back upon in case of disaster) to our first line. 
My dispositions were soon made to attack the 
enemy simultaneously at all points — Cowand 
and Archer on the right, Cook and Battle on 
the left, who w^ere to drive them from the pro- 
tection of their traverses. Col. commanded 


in front with a heavy Hne of skirmishers connecting 
his left with Cook and his right with Cowand. My 
four pieces of artillery poured grape and canister 
into the enemy, and I gave the signal for the in- 
fantry advance, when a general charge was made, 
but through a direct violation of orders on the part 

of Col. , this attack only partially succeeded, 

capturing that portion of the line alone upon which 

the skirmishers advanced, Col. having changed 

the direction of attack, and charged the point as- 
signed to the skirmishers on the right, thereby leav- 
ing a space of three hundred yards unassailed. 
There is no doubt in my mind if Col. had at- 
tacked with vigor at that time, we could have driven 
the enemy entirely from our works. After the lapse 
of an hour, during which time the enemy were 
heavily reinforced, I ordered another attack from 

the second line in which Col. participated, but 

by again diverting his Brigade in the direction of 
Cowand's Brigade, instead of tow^ards the salient, 
the enemy were dislodged from only a small portion 
of the lines. 

Subsequently sixty men of Johnston's North 
Carolina Brigade, under command of Capt. Plato 
Durham, recaptured Fort Mahone, which for an 
hour had been so covered by our fire as to forbid 


their showing themselves. In taking this fort a 
large number of prisoners were captured; so many 
in fact, that when I first saw them skulking behind 
the earthworks for protection against the fire of 
their own men, I feared it was a ruse on the part of 
the enemy to surprise us, they having secreted 
themselves for safety in this work, and we in our 
charge had taken the only outlet. 

After this no general attack was made, though 
we continued slowly but gradually to drive them 
from traverse to traverse. 

About nightfall the enemy occupied some two 
hundred yards of our breastworks — through no in- 
efificiency or negligence on the part of the oiificers 
and men were the works carried, but owing to the 
weakness of the line, its extreme length, and the 
want of sufficient force to defend it, for they acted 
most heroically on this trying occasion. Only one 
unwounded man (an officer) did I see seeking the 
rear, and he one whom I had the previous day or- 
dered under arrest for trafficking with the enemy (ex- 
changing tobacco for coffee). Him I hailed and in- 
quired where he was going, when he recalled his ar- 
rest the previous day, from which I immediately 
released him and sent him back to his command. 

I had a verbal conference with Gen. Lee and 


afterwards officially reported my inability to hold 
this point against any vigorous attack. In conse- 
quence of this report, Lieut.-Col. Peyton, the Army 
Inspector, was sent the day before to examine this 
line, who coincided with my vaews and so reported 
to Gen. Lee. On an average throughout the space 
from man to man was at least eight feet in the line 
of trq^iches. I doubted not that with a reserve of 
five hundred men I could have driven the enemy 
from any point which they might capture, and re- 
peatedly urged that such an arrangement be made, 
knowing well that the enemy by concentrating a 
large force on any given point could press their way 
through the line, and my only salvation was in 
having the means at hand of driving them back be- 
fore large numbers could enter. Our left was the 
post of greatest danger, there should the reserve 
have been placed ; but Gen. Lee informed me that 
every available man was on duty, and I must do the 
best I could. 

On Sunday night of the 2nd we had orders to 
abandon the works, and without the knowledge of 
the Federals we withdrew to the north side of the 
Appomattox river, following the Hickory road to 
Goode's bridge, where we recrossed the Appomattox, 
proceeding towards Amelia C. H., which we reached 


on the morning of the fifth. Wednesday we re- 
mained stationary in line of battle, confronting the 
enemy until about dark, when we followed the 
army, bringing up the rear, being very much im- 
peded on the march by the wagon train and its most 
miserable mismanagement, which, as I apprehended, 
would cause us some disaster. The enemy showed 
themselves on Thursday about 8 o'clock A. M. in 
our rear and on our left flank when near Amelia 
Springs, and in a short time began to press us 

I then formed Cox's and Cowand's Brigades in 
line of battle, with a heavy skirmish line in front to 
impede their progress and to cover our rear, sending 
Battle's, Cook's and Archer's Brigades forward for 
one half mile to form there, across the road, in line 
of battle, in order to allow Cowand and Cox to re- 
treat safely when the enemy had deployed and pre- 
pared to attack ; our right flank being protected by 
a North Carolina Brigade of cavalry under General 
Roberts. In this manner alternating the Brigades 
throughout the day we continued to oppose the 
enemy and retreat, endeavoring to protect the lag- 
ging wagon train, which was successfully done up to 
about 4 o'clock P. M., when we approached Sailor's 
Creek, and upon the ridge running parallel with that 



stream we made the final stand of the day, the 
wagons becoming blocked up at the bridge crossing 
this stream. At this point Gen. Lee ordered me if 
possible to hold this line of hills until he could have 
artillery put in position on the opposite hills over 
the creek parallel with those I occupied. 

The enemy pushed on rapidly, attacking us with 
very great pertinacity. We here repeatedly repulsed 
their assaults, but by turning both of our flanks they 
succeeded in not only dislodging but driving us 
across the creek in confusion. About now the ar- 
tillery from the heights, occupied by Gen. Lee, 
opened upon the enemy, and the sun being down 
they did not cross the creek. After we broke, 
personally I was so pressed that the space between 
the two wings of the enemy was not over two hun- 
dred yards when I sought safety in retreat. I gal- 
loped to the creek (the bridge being in their pos- 
session) where the banks were very precipitous, and 
for protection from their murderous fire concluded 
to jump my horse in, riding him through the water 
and effect my escape by abandoning him on the 
other side, the bullets of the enemy whistling around 
me like hail all the while. By great good fortune 
the opposite banks proving not so precipitous and 
my horse seeming to appreciate the situation, clamb- 


ered up the height, starting off in a run, thus secur- 
ing my safety. This same animal, Warren, I still 
own and treasure for his past services. That night 
we took the road for Farmville, crossing the Appo- 
mattox at High Bridge, posting guards at the south 
side, thus collecting all stragglers and returning 
them to their commands. 

The next morning (Friday) we continued our 
march down the railroad and formed line of battle 
on the Lynchburg road, still endeavoring to preserve 
that " impediment of Caesar's " — the wagon train — 
marching by the left flank through the woods par- 
allel to the road traveled by the wagon train, and 
about one hundred or so yards distant from the 
road. Upon reaching the road and point that turns 
towards Lynchburg from the Cumberland road, 
three of my Brigades, Cook's, Cox's and Cowand's, 
had crossed the Cumberland road and were in line 
of battle, and at right angles with Battle's and 
Archer's Brigades, who were still parallel with the 
Cumberland road. Heavy firing was going on at 
this point, when Gen. Mahone came rushing up 
and reported that the enemy had charged, turning 
his flank, and driving his men from their guns and 
the works which he had erected early in the day for 
the protection of these cross roads. I then ordered 


my three Brigades, Cook's, Cox's and Cowand's at a 
doublequick on the line, with Battle and Archer, 
charging the enemy and driving them well off from 
Mahone's works, recapturing the artillery taken by 
them and capturing a large number of prisoners and 
holding this position until sent for by Gen. Lee, 
w^ho complimented the troops of the Division upon 
the charge made and the service rendered, ordering 
me to leave a skirmish line in my front and that 
Fields' Division would occupy my position, I to 
hurry with all possible dispatch to the road which 
intersected the Lynchburg road, as the enemy's cav- 
alry were reported to be approaching by that road. 

We reached this road, halting and keeping the 
enemy in check until the wagons had passed, and 
then continued the march parallel with the road 
travelled by the wagon train, continuing thus to 
march until night, when we took the road following 
to protect the trains. 

On Saturday the 8th no enemy appeared, and 
we marched undisturbed all day. Up to this time 
since the evacuation of Petersburg we had marched 
day and night, continually followed and harrassed 
by the enemy. The men were very much jaded and 
suffering for necessary sustenance, our halts not 
having been suf^ciently long to prepare their food, 


besides all of our cooking utensils not captured or 
abandoned were where we could not reach them. 
This day Bushrod Johnson's Division was assigned 
to and placed under my command by order of Gen. 
Lee. Upon passing a clear stream of water and 
learning that the other Division of the Corps had 
gone into camp some two or three miles ahead, I 
concluded to halt and give my broken down men an 
opportunity to close up and rejoin us, and sent a 
message to Gen. Gordon, commanding the Corps, 
making known my whereabouts, informing him I 
would be at any point he might designate at any 
hour desired. 

By dark my men were all quiet and asleep. About 
nine o'clock I heard the roar of artillery in our front 
and in consequence of information reteived I had 
my command aroused in time and passed through 
the town of Appomattox C. H. before daylight, 
where, upon the opposite side of the town, I found 
the enemy in my front. Throwing out my skirmish- 
ers and forming line of battle, I reconnoitered and 
satisfied myself as to their position, and awaited the 
arrival of Gen. Gordon for instructions, who awhile 
before day, accompanied by Gen. Fitz. Lee, came 
to my position when we held a council of war. 
Gen. Gordon was of the opinion that the troops in 


our front were cavalry and Gen. Fitz Lee should at- 
tack. Fitz Lee thought they were infantry and that 
Gordon should attack. They discussed the matter 
so long that I became impatient, and said it was 
some one's duty to attack, and that immediately, 
and I felt satisfied that they could be driven from 
cross roads occupied by them, which was the route 
it was desirable our wagon train should pursue, and 
that I would undertake it ; whereupon Gordon said, 
"Well, drive them off." I replied, '* I cannot do it 
with my Division alone, but require assistance. He 
then said, " You can take the other two Divisions of 
the Corps." About this time it was becoming suf- 
ficiently light to make the surrounding localities vis- 
ible. I then rode down and invited Gen. Walker, 
who commanded a Division on my left composed 
principally of Virginians, to ride with me, showing 
him the position of the enemy and explaining to 
him my views and plan of attack. He agreed v/ith 
me as to its advisability. I did this because I felt I 
had assumed a very great responsibility when I 
took upon myself the charge of making the attack. 
I then made dispositions to dislodge the Federals 
from their position, placing Bushrod Johnson's 
Division upon my right, with instructions to attack 
and take the enemy in flank, while my Division 


skirmishers charged in front where temporary earth- 
works had been thrown up by the enemy their cav- 
alry holding the crossings of the road with a bat- 
tery. I soon perceived a disposition on their part 
to attack this Division in flank. I rode back and 
threw their right so as to take advantage of some 
ditches and fences to obstruct the cavalry if the}" 
should attempt to make a charge. In the mean- 
time the cavalry of Fitz Lee were proceeding by a 
circuitous route to get in rear of them at these cross 
roads. The enemy observing me placing these 
troops in position fired upon me with four pieces of 
artillery. I remember well the appearance of the 
shell, and how directly they came towards me, ex- 
ploding, and completely enveloping me in smoke. I 
then gave the signal to advance, at the same time 
Fitz Lee charged those posted at the cross roads? 
when my skirmishers attacked the breastworks 
which were taken without much loss on my part, 
also capturing several pieces of artillery and a large 
number of prisoners, I at the same time moving the 
Division up to the support of the skirmishers in 
echelon by Brigades, driving the enmy in confusion 
for three quarters of a mile beyond a range of hills 
covered with oak undergrowth. I then learned from 
prisoners that my right flank was threat g ed. Halt- 


ing my troops I placed the skirmishers, commanded 
by Col. J. R. Winston, 45th N. C. Troops, in front 
about one hundred yards distant, to give notice of 
indication of attack. Placed Cox's Brigade, which 
occupied the right of the Division at right angles to 
the other troops to watch that flank. The other 
Divisions of the Corps (Walker and Evans) were on 
the left. I then sent an officer to Gen. Gordon an- 
nouncing our success and that the Lynchburg road 
was open for the escape of the wagons, and that I 
awaited orders. Thereupon I received an order to 
withdraw, which I declined to do, supposing that 
Gen. Gordon did not understand the commanding 
position which my troops occupied. He continued 
to send me order after order to the same effect 
which I still disregarded, being under the impres- 
sion that he did not cemprehend our favorable loca- 
tion, until finally I received a message from him 
with an additional one as coming from Gen. Lee to 
fall back. I felt the difficulty of withdrawal without 
disaster, and ordered Col. J. R. Winston, command- 
ing the skirmish line which had been posted in my 
front on reaching first these hills, to conform his move- 
ments to those of the Division, and to move by the 
left flank so as to give us notice of an attack from 
that quarter. I then ordered Cox to maintain his 


position in line of battle, and not to show himself 
until our rear was 100 yards distant, and then to fall 
back in line of battle, so as to protect our rear and 
right flank from assault. I then instructed Major 
Peyton, of my staff, to start the left in motion, and 
I continued with the rear. 

The enemy, upon seeing us move off, rushed out 
from under cover with a cheer, when Cox's Brigade, 
lying concealed at the brow of a hill, rose and fired 
a volley into them, which drove them back into the 
woods, the Brigade then following their retreating 
comrades in line of battle unmolested. After pro- 
ceeding about half the distance to the position oc- 
cupied by us in the morning, a dense mass of the 
enemy in column (Infantry) appeared on our right, 
and advanced without firing towards the earthworks 
captured by us in the early morning, when a Battery 
of our artillery opened with grape and cannister, and 
drove them under the shelter of the woods. 
" As my troops approached their position of the 
morning, I rode up to General Gordon and asked 
where I should form line of battle. He replied, 
''Anywhere you choose." Struck by the strange- 
ness of the reply, I asked an explanation, whereupon 
he informed me that we would be surrendered. I ex- 
pressed very forcibly my dissent to being surrendered, 


and indignantly upbraided him for not giving me 
notice of such intention, as I could have escaped 
with my Division and joined Gen. Joe Johnston, 
then in North Carolina. Furthermore, that I should 
then inform my men of the purpose to surrender, 
and that whomsoever desired to escape that calamity 
could go with me, and galloped off to carry this idea 
into effect. Before reaching my troops, however. 
General Gordon overtook me, and placing his hand 
on my shoulder, asked me if I were going to desert 
the army, and tarnish my own honor as a soldier; 
that it would be a reflection upon General Lee, and 
an indelible disgrace to me, that I, an officer of rank, 
should escape under a flag of truce, which was then 
pending. I was in a dilemma, and knew not what 
to do, but finally concluded to say nothing on the 
subject to my troops. 

Upon reaching them, one of the soldiers inquired 
if General Lee had surrendered, and upon answ^ering 
I feared it was a fact that we had been surrendered, 
he cast away his musket, and holding his hands aloft, 
cried in an agonized voice, ^' Blow, Gabriel, blow ! 
My God, let him blow, T am ready to die I" We 
then went beyond the creek at Appomattox Court 
House, stacked arms amid the bitter tears of bronzed 
veterans regretting the necessity of capitulation. 


Among the incidents, ever fresh in my memory, of 
this fatal day to the Confederacy, is the remark of a 
private soldier. When riding up to my old regiment 
to shake by the hand each comrade who had fol- 
lowed me through four years of suffering, toil, and 
privation often worse than death, to bid them a final 
affectionate, and, in many instances, an eternal fare- 
well, a cadaverous, ragged, barefooted man, grasped 
me by the hand, and choking vrith sobs, said : 
" Good-bye, General ; God bless you, we will go 
home, make three more crops, and try them again." 
I mention this instance simply to show the spirit, 
the pluck, and the faith of our men in the justice of 
our cause, and that he surrendered more to grim 
famine than to the prowess of our enemies. 

That day, and the next, the terms of surrender 
were adjusted : the following day our paroles signed 
and countersigned ; and on Wednesday, April 12th, 
1865, we stacked arms in an old field, and each man 
sought his home as best he might. 

I have given in the above a simple, true, and un- 
varnished statement of facts, occurring during the 
dying struggles of the Army of Northern Virginia, in 
so far, only as I was an eye-witness and participant 
in those events ; with no view to laud my own 
achievements, or seeming to seek an undeserved 



honor, or to take the least sprig of laurel from an- 
other's brow, but simply in the interest of the truth 
of history. 

I assert that I was at Appomattox, and that I 
commanded my own Division at Appomattox ; and 
General Gordon, the Corps commander, bears me 
out in this assertion, and, moreover, states that I 
volunteered my services; and did make the last 
charge made by the Infantry at Appomattox. 
Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Bryan Grimes, 
Major-Geiieral in late P. A. C. S. 

Raleigh, N. C, December 20th, 1879. 

To Gen. Bryan Grimes, 

My Dear Si?': I owe you a thousaiid thanks 
for your full and extremely valuable letter. It ex- 
plains many things I did not understand before, and 
will greatly add to the vindication of the North 
Carolinians as to the last sad hours of the Army of 
Northern Virginia. Pray excuse my delay in ac- 
knowledging your great kindness, and believe me, 
Very truly yours, 
(Signed) J. \\\ Moore. 


General Grimes' Reply to Letter of Chas. C. Jones, Jr., April 
16, 1872. 

Accept my sincere thanks for your book, and 
although as you say local in its character, have de- 
rived great pleasure from perusal. The mention of 
Gen. Colquitt's name recalled some associations with 
it. One was that upon reaching Yorktown, April 
9th, (1862,) we relieved the sixth Georgia Regiment 
and established ourselves in Col. Colquitt's ''hole in 
the ground" with a tent over it, and in a few days 
found one of the attendants of close quarters, and 
my person covered before we ever dreamed of such 
pests. Another reminiscence is having a Bible (in 
my library now) picked up on the night of our re- 
treat from Yorktown, I having been detailed to 
bring off the pickets. I enclose you autographs of 
Generals Ramseurand Daniel, with his approval upon 
application for leave of absence while near Orange 
Court House ; also a paper addressed to Col. Taylor, 
I suppose upon which I made this application. I 
have fragments and skeletons of reports made of 
different engagements — Gettysburg, last few days of 
the war, from breaking of our lines at Petersburg to 
the morning of surrender at Appomattox Court 
House, and some others. The last infantry charge 
by the Army of Northern Virginia was made by my 


Division, as General Gordon, our Corps commander, 
will substantiate. The form of parole for General 
Johnston's troops was taken from my papers, bor- 
rowed by Col. Wherry, Gen. Schofleld's Adjutant 
General or Aid-de-Camp, to guide Schofield in ad- 
justing this matter. By-the-by, Generals Sherman, 
Schofield, Terry, Bevis, ct id oinne genus, had a cham- 
pagne drinking in Raleigh just after Johnston's sur- 
render, and sent this same Col. Wherry over, to in- 
vite me to join them, which I most indignantly de- 
clined. That evening we heard of Lincoln's assassina- 
tion. Reminiscences of the past crowd upon me, and 
however pleasant, or rather unpleasant, may not 
prove agreeable to you, and if I do not halt will ex- 
haust my paper before I have given you information 
asked for. You can procure all information relative 
to General Ramseur from Capt. Richmond, (Aid-de- 
Camp to Gen. R.,) Milton, N. C. I wrote to Mr. 
Richmond a few weeks ago, and received no reply. 
If you do not hear from him, then address Hon. D. 
Schenck, Lincolnton, N. C, who married Gen. R.'s 
sister. Ramseur married his first cousin (Richmond's 
sister). Hon. E. Conigland, Halifax, N. C, will 
cheerfully give you all information relative to his 
brother-in-law. General Daniel. William E. Ander- 
son, President Citizens National Bank, Raleigh, can 


tell you everything about his brother, Gen. G. B. 
Anderson. You ask nothing of my dear friends 
and relativ^es, J. J. Pettigrew and L. O'B. Branch, 
the first killed at Falling Waters upon the retreat 
from Pennsylvania, the latter killed at Sharpsburg. 
You perhaps regard Pettigrew as a South Caro- 
linian. We claim him. He is a native, and was 
educated in the State, was Colonel of a North Car- 
olina Regiment, and commanded a North Carolina 
Brigade at time of his death. Rev. W. S. Petti- 
grew, Henderson, N. C, will give you all particulars 
relative to him, and Mrs. L. O'B. Branch, Raleigh, 
or son W. A. B. Branch, Washington, N. C, will 
take pleasure in communicating all facts relative to 
Gen. Branch. There is Gen. Pender whose widow 
and brother live in Tarboro, N. C. Pender I knew 
but slightly, only after the war commenced, the 
others were life-long acquaintances and friends from 
childhood. I think it probable I shall revisit New 
York on the 4th or 5th of May and stop at the St. 
Nicholas. I can, if of service to you, send you a 
roster of all the Regiments and field officers from 
North Carolina. 

Very respectfully yours, 

Bryan Grimes. 


[Letter from Gen. J. B. Gordon.] 

New York, May 6th, 1872. 

Gen. Bryan Grimes, N. C. : 

My Dear General : Yours asking my recollec- 
tion of the participation of your Division in the last 
day's battle at Appomattox C. H. would have been 
answered before I left my home in Georgia, but for 
circumstances beyond my control. It is a source of 
pleasure to me not only to do this but also to ex- 
press my sincere appreciation of your valuable ser- 
vices during that portion of the war when it was 
my fortune to command the 2nd Corps Army North- 
ern Virginia, to which your Division was attached. 
When I was first placed in command of the Corps 
in the Fall of 1864 at or near Petersburg, you will 
remember that you were detached from the other 
Divisions and did not join them until a short time 
before the attack upon Gen. Grant's lines in front 
of Petersburg. You participated in the battles then 
and during the terrible days and nights which fol- 
lowed prior to and after the breaking of our lines 
by Grant's army, as well as upon the retreat. But 
it is of the last fight of the army of Northern Vir- 
ginia in which you bore so coiispiciioiis a part at Ap- 
pomattox C. H. that you ask my recollections. It 


would be difficult, my dear General, to forget your 
anxiety to ^et your Division well up and compact 
on the evening of the 8th of April, the day preced- 
ing that last battle and the final surrender of the 
army, as well as your assurance to me that if al- 
lowed to rest and gather up your broken down men, 
}^ou would be on hand at any time during the night 
of the 8th or morning of the 9th, to take part in any 
movement which might be ordered. My consent 
you will remember was obtained that you should go 
into camp and rest your men, but before day on the 
morning of the 9th of April, you were at the front 
ready to participate with your Division in the last 
effort ever to be made by the army of Gen. Lee. 

The plan agreed upon at the counsel of war held 
at Gen. Lee's Headquarters during the night of the 
8th between Gen. Lee, Gen. Pendleton commanding 
the artillery, Gen. Fitz Hugh Lee commanding the 
cavalry. Gen. Longstreet and myself who com- 
manded the two wings of his army, was this : My 
command, consisting of about one half of the army, 
with the cavalry, was to attack the enemy's cavalry 
in front of Appomattox C. H., and attempt to cut 
a way out, and Longstreet and the artillery not en- 
gaged with my command and the wagon train, was 
to follow. It was supposed that nothing more than 



the enemy's cavalry was in our front, and though 
largely outnumbering the whole of my command 
and the cavalry of Gen. Lee, yet it was supposed, as 
the result proved, that Sheridan's cavalry could be 
beaten back. It was during the preparation for this 
final move in the early morning of the 9th, that you 
offered to make the attack in front. 

Your Division with the other troops were placed 
in line while Gen. Fitz Hugh Lee's cavalry moved 
to our right. The attack was made and proved emi- 
nently successful, resulting in the capture of the 
enemy's works which he had temporarily thrown up 
in our front, and the taking of six pieces (I think) 
of his artillery. You were not halted for a consid- 
erable time but pressed steadily forward to the front, 
until I ordered you to rear, upon receiving intelli- 
gence from Gen. R. E. Lee that a flag of truce was 
in existence between himself and Gen. Grant, and 
upon the appearance and advance of heavy bodies 
of infantry upon both our flanks. Your indisposi- 
tion to retreat then, and your anxiety to go on, was 
manifest ; but I knew more of the situation than 
you did, and in accordance with the understanding 
at the counsel of war the night previous, the ap- 
pearance of these large bodies of the enemy's in- 
fantry, and the impossibility of Gen. Longstreet's 



moving up, the constantly increasing distance be- 
tween us, and the pressing of the enemy's force into 
this space, it was necessary for me to notify Gen. 
Lee of the situation then, and these circumstances 
rendered resistance for any positive advantage use- 
less, and loss of life by our brave men of no avail. 

On the receipt of the note from Gen. Lee I or- 
dered you to the rear, and notified Gen. Sheridan of 
the existence of a '' Flag of Truce," who insisted 
upon the separate surrender of my command to him, 
which I refused. It was at this time you asked me 
what the meaning was of my instructions to you to 
put your men in any position you could select, and 
suggested that I permit you to return to the front. 
It was very painful to announce to you and to the 
troops the surrender of the army, and when you 
were made aware of it, you expressed your regret 
that I had not informed you while you were in front, 
that you might have made the effort to escape with 
your command. 

I was touched, General, by your indisposition to 
meet this dreaded ordeal, as I was by the grief, the 
anguish of all our brave men, but it was all over — 
all was done that could be done by the army, and 
any escape of small bodies of troops would have 
been charged as treachery on Gen. Lee's part to- 


ward Gen. Grant, from whose overwhelming forces 
it was impossible now to extricate the remnant of 
the " Army of Northern Virginia." This occasion 
was the most trying one of all our lives ; but, Gen- 
eral, the ungenerous effort to humiliate us since the 
war, by the strong arm of power, has made upon my 
heart, and doubtless upon yours, a more ineffaceable 
impression than all else connected with our past his- 
tory. We were entitled to honorable, magnanimous 
legislation by the General Government ; but the 
purposes of the party in power have sedmed to be 
only to irritate by proscrlptive laws, and drive us to 
desperation by the support of those forced in power 
over us, who in the name of Law have robbed ws, in 
the name of Liberty have inaugurated the rule of 
the Bayonet, arrested and imprisoned the innocent, 
and gloated in the oppression of our citizens. 

May the God of Righteousness bring us deliv- 

Most truly your friend, 

(Signed) J. B. GORDON. 

Major-Gcn. GRIMES, N. C. 

On page 95 of Col. Walter H. Taylor's book en- 
titled " Four Years with General Lee," (which book 


is now in Gen. Grimes' library,) the first section is 
marked thus :}: and reads as follows : 

'' General Lee witnessed the flight of the Fed- 
erals through Gettysburg and up the hills beyond. 
He then directed me to go to General Ewell and to 
say to him, that from the position which he occu- 
pied he could see the enemy retreating over those 
hills without organization and in great confusion, 
that it was only necessary to press ''those people " 
in order to secure possession of the heights, and 
that, if possible, he wished him to do this. In obe- 
dience to these instructions, I proceeded immedi- 
ately to General Ewell and delivered the order of 
General Lee ; and after receiving from him some 
message for the commanding general in regard to 
the prisoners captured, returned to the latter and 
reported that his order had been delivered." 

All around the margin of this page appears the 
following in pencil, and written in Gen. Grimes' own 

" I was in the lead and saw the first pieces of ar- 
tillery, two in number, making for this hill. The 
enemy were routed and retreating in great confusion. 
Gen. Ramseur, with my regiment in advance, were 
rushing up, and following the enemy, and without 
the slightest doubt in my mind, could have cap- 


tured these guns and occupied the hill, but an officer 
of rank rode up and advised that we await rein- 
forcements, which was done, and we were drawn 
back to the main street of Gettysburg, and there 
remained, without firing a shot the whole evening — 
several hours of dayHght." 

Gen. Ramseur says in his report of the battle of 
Gettysburg, (see Southern Historical Papers. — C.) : 

"The enemy was pushed through Gettysburg to 
the heights beyond, v/hen I received an order to halt 
and form line of battle in a street in Gettysburg 
running east and west. 

'' To Colonel Parker, 3pth North Carolina ; Col- 
onel Bennett, 19th North Carolina ; Colonel Grimes, 
4th North Carolina, and Major Hurt, 2nd North 
Crrolina, my thanks are due for skill and gallantry 
displayed by them in this day's fight." 

General Grimes received a copy of Moore's His- 
tory of North Carolina only a few days before his 
death, and had but little opportunity to examine it, 
and had only read disconnected parts of it. 

On page 170, Vol. H, in the two last lines of said 
page he makes the following corrections: Erases 
"Twelfth, Colonel Daniel," and writes, " Fourteenth, 


Col. R. T. Bennett ;" and erases '' Twentieth, Col. T. 
F. Toon," and writes " Thirty-seventh, Col. F. M. 

On page 190, Vol. II, on the left margin of said 
page, appears the following written also in pencil in 
his own handwriting : 

" I commanded Anderson's Brigade at this bat- 
tle, consisting of the 2nd, 4th, 14th and 30th Regi- 
ments of N. C. Troops. Bryan Grimes." 

On page 259, Vol. II, Major Moore in describing 
Gen. Lee leading the charge in person at the battle 
of Spottsylvania C. H., places the date of this charge 
in person by Gen. Lee on the morning of the loth 
of May. 

On the right margin of said page is written in 
pencil : '' It was on the 5th May that Gen. Lee led 
the charge in person." 

On page 260, Vol. II, Major Moore says: ''Con- 
spicuous in this charge was the youthful and slender 
form of Brigadier-General Stephen D. Ramseur, of 
Lincoln county. North Carolina." On the left mar- 
gin of said page is written in pencil : '* This charge 
was led by Col. Bryan Grimes, commanding Ram- 
seur's Brigade, Ramseur being disabled by a wound." 


[About the time the printing of this book was nearly completed the 
following was found in a book in Gen. Grimes' library-, in his own 
handwriting, and is given here exactly as it is written. — C.] 

Ewell's Corps, composed of Rodes, Early and 
Johnson's commands, surprised Gen. Milroy. We 
drove the enemy's cavalry from the summit, and 
ousted them to intercept the retreat of the enemy 
from Winchester. Captured the cavalry camp at 
Berryville. We moved down to Martinsburg and 
drove the enemy into and through the town, taking 
several pieces of artillery and 700 prisoners. Then 
moved up and crossed the Potomac river at Wil- 
liamsport. Occupied Chambersburg on 23rd of June, 
1863. Was Provost Marshal of Hagerstown. There 
we spent several days, and then moved to Cham- 
bersburg. Insidious talk of man of Company A ; 
turned him over to his own men for punishment. 
Sent to Carlisle within eight miles of Harrisburg on 
picket duty. Headquarters in brick house. Woman's 
remark about Quartermaster. Regiment quartered 
in a very large house. Saw the Perry militia coming 
out with their high sugar-loaf hats. Put a portion 
of my picket in ambush, allowing militia to pass, 
susprising them in front, and shooting in their 
rear. Supplied my men with their hats, which fell 
off in their confusion. Their stampede through 


Harrlsbiirg-, through the wheat fields. Here tasted 
for the first time Plantation Bitters, taken from the 
pocket of a dead Federal. We stampeded all of them, 
about 500. Killed and wounded many. Captured 
many horses without having a man wounded. Were 
nearer Harrisburg than perhaps any troops except 
cavalry scouts. Severity of orders against plunder- 
ing the inhabitants. Punishment of men who went 
in a house and took jewelry. The rest of our Brig- 
ade occupied the U. S. Barracks. ?^Iove towards 
Gettysburg. Rode in ambulance all the time, ex- 
cept when expecting an engagement, owing to in- 
jury on my foot. 


Page I, line i6, should read, "as far as he had executed it." 
Page lo, line 7, should read, " were repeated " in place of " \vire> 


Page 15, line 4, should read, "pinned" instead of "penned." 
Page 52, line 22, should read, " which broke and ran" for " who 

brc^e and run." 

Page 67, line 21, should read, " Capt. Stitt " instead of " Still." 
Page 67, line 23, should read, "one of niy couriers (Sherwood 


Page 68, line iS, should read, "Capt. Stitt" instead of "Still." 
Page 72, line 13, should read, "able to hobble along" instead of 

" unable," &c. 

Page 80, line 16, should read, " march" for " March." 
Page 117, line 6, should read, " Divisions " for " Division." 
There are a few typographical errors \\hich will readily suggest 

themselves to the reader.